Thursday, August 30, 2012
Usain Bolt targets Rio Olympics
ZURICH -- Usain Bolt wants to defend his three Olympic titles at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, though he's undecided about plans for next season.
He's not sure which events he'll compete in during the 2013 world championship season.
"If I can go to Rio and really defend all my titles, that would make it even greater," Bolt said Wednesday, a day before the Weltklasse Diamond League meet.
With just two races remaining this season -- the 200 meters in Zurich and a 100 in Brussels next week -- his future plans have attracted more attention.
Bolt has revived his old flirtation with adding the long jump to his usual program of the 100 and 200 meters and 4x100 relay in Jamaica colors at the 2013 world championships in Moscow or beyond.
The strategy of track and field's biggest and most marketable star will be discussed soon with coach Glen Mills.
"I will be saying long jump, he'll probably be saying 400 meters," said Bolt, who has traditionally dismissed thoughts of training for the one-lap event. "I'm not sure what I'm going to do next season. We have to work all that out first."
Bolt said his options included focusing on lowering his world-record times -- 9.58 in the 100 and 19.19 in the 200 -- or adding more titles and gold medals.
"You never know what we might come up with. Let's try to run under 19 seconds, let's try to run 9.4, 9.3," he said. "When you have world records, it's kind of hard to focus solely on trying to go faster."
He intends lining up at Moscow next August "without a doubt," though insisted he does not know in which events. Still, the 200 is his favorite event, and he will surely want to regain the 100 world title he ceded to training partner Yohan Blake after being disqualified from the final for a false start last year.
Bolt responded without obvious enthusiasm to a question about competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. He also missed the last Commonwealths held in New Delhi, and much of the 2010 season appeared designed to avoid burning out midway between the Olympics.
"If you push your body every year, it is going to deteriorate quickly," Bolt said. "I want to last as long as I possibly can in this sport."
Bolt is unlikely to challenge his 200 world record on Thursday, when heavy rain is forecast at the Letzigrund stadium.
"I just want to go home. I'm counting the days now," he said.
Blake, who heads the 100 lineup, could yet take the Diamond League spotlight from Bolt for a second straight Thursday in Switzerland.
The double Olympic silver medalist ran 9.69 in winning at Lausanne last week to equal Tyson Gay of the United States as the second-fastest man in history.
"There were some mistakes in the race," Blake said Wednesday. "It could have been a lot better execution-wise, and my coach (Mills) is looking into that."
Four years younger than Bolt, the 22-year-old Blake is looking forward to Rio in 2016.
"That is my peak year," he said. "By then, I think I will be one of the greatest athletes in the world."