Usain Bolt Q&A: Apr2010

Friday, 23 April 2010 Usain Bolt Teleconference Highlights – IAAF Diamond League

World Champion Usain Bolt steams ahead to a 19.57 meeting record in the 200m (Getty Images)

Usain Bolt (JAM), the World record holder in the 100 and 200m and one of 14 IAAF Diamond League Ambassadors, participated in a media conference call this afternoon.

Bolt, who is also the reigning Olympic and World champion in the 100m and 200m, has already confirmed his participation in the IAAF Diamond League meetings in Shanghai (23 May), New York (12 June), Paris (16 July) and Brussels (27 August). He will compete on Saturday at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

Some of the teleconference highlights:

With no major championships this year the prospect of meeting your rivals Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell in the Diamond League must really excite you.

“Yes, definitely. I’m really excited about the clashes over the season. With no championships I’m really looking forward to the clashes. I think they’ll be really good for the sport.”

Next month you’ll be competing in Daegu, the site of the next World Championships, and then at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai. Are you looking forward to your Asian Tour and the rest of the Diamond League?

“Definitely. The Diamond League is very important to me this year, and the showdowns are great this year. So it’s a good opportunity to keep it going and keep it exciting for the fans. Normally in the championship years we don’t really compete against each other that much, so this year it’s important for us to compete against each other to keep the sport exciting and go out there and run fast times.”

Do you have any times in mind for this season?

“I can’t say right now. I always need to run my first races in both events to see what I can do and how I feel. This weekend at the Penn Relays is my first warm-up and then next weekend in Jamaica. I’m just looking forward to these two meets first and then we can say, maybe, what kind of times we can look forward to.”

“I’m not focusing on times. I’ve said that and my coach has said that. If I need to run fast to win, I will definitely do that.”

With the Diamond League showdowns between the three fastest men in history, aren’t times approaching the World record a given?

“Definitely. Whoever is in the race is going to be serious. And by the end of the season we should all be in tip-top shape and in great shape to run as fast as possible.”

How important is this weekend’s outing at the Penn Relays?

“It’s important just to see where I’m at because I’ve taken a little bit more time off and have taken the last three to five weeks to really get back into shape. So this is definitely a test to see where I’m at. I’m feeling really good in training but I want to see how I feel in competition.”

Have you given any more thought to running the 400m seriously?

“I think the 200 is as far as will go. It’s almost a full out sprint and that’s something I enjoy.”

“If it takes that for me to become a legend in sports, then I guess I will, otherwise I wouldn’t want to do it (seriously).”

“Why? The training. It’s very hard. It’s much harder than training for the 200. I don’t think I’m ready for that.”

Tyson Gay broke through the 45-second barrier last weekend.

“Yeah, that caught me by surprise. Congratulations to him. But no, no, no, it doesn’t motivate me to go to the 400 (laughs).”

On being a role model in Jamaica

“People definitely look up to me, and look to me as a role model, And I think I’m doing a good job. I try to help in any way can. I just try to live a good life and be a good role model for the kids.”

“I try to help in any way I can to make Jamaica a better place. That’s my aim.”

Where can you improve in 100m?

“It always just my first 30 (metres). I’m definitely getting it down but I need to keep working on my start, and my acceleration. And then just to stop looking around. There are little things that my coach sees that I don’t see.”

“I’ve said that I think 9.4 is where I think the record will stop, and I said that I hope I’ll be the one to run that 9.4.”

What else is there for you to achieve?

“I want to defend my titles. Other people have won one title. But defending your title is very important. And being consistent. If I can dominate over four, five or six years, then maybe I can make myself a legend.”

Your predictions for football’s World Cup?

“My side is Argentina, but right now I think it will be either Brazil or Spain.”

What makes you so fast?

“I think it’s just talent, really. Everyone has that one thing they’re good at and for me that one thing is track and field. I got talent and now I train hard. My coach told me one thing, that everyone on the circuit’s got talent. It’s all about how much work goes into that talent. So it’s talent and hard work.”

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF