Bolt to defend all his titles in Rio – but won’t try new event
Usain Bolt will be aiming for a third successive hat-trick of Olympic sprint titles in the 100 and 200 metres as well as the 4x100m relay at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, rather than trying out a new event.
After Bolt became the first man to successfully defend both sprint titles at the London Olympics, he was coy about his prospects of competing in Rio and there was speculation he could switch to the long jump or 400m for a new challenge.
However, during a promotional visit to New Zealand yesterday, the self-declared “living legend” said that his plan for 2016 “is all about just going and defending my titles”.
“I don’t want to try any different events at Rio, because at Rio I will just defend my titles to show the world that there is a possibility that I can do it again,”
Bolt, who won the 100m and 200m and helped Jamaica win the 4x100m relays at Beijing and London, told a news conference: “The three-peat, that’s the focus – there’s not going to be any different event.”
The 26-year-old was under intense pressure from Yohan Blake heading into the London Olympics after losing to his training partner at the Jamaican selection trials. But he vowed to deliver his best when it counted most and showed with his commanding runs in London just how far ahead of the competition he can be when he’s in peak form.
Bolt has the world record in the 100 and 200 and wants to go even faster. He’ll return to training later this month and turn his attention immediately to the world championships next year in Moscow.
“I continue to work hard, continue staying focused and pushing myself, so for me that’s the focus right now,” he said. “I don’t know how fast I can go but I definitely try to go faster each year. I enjoy being challenged all the time.”
Ladbrokes released a press release yesterday saying it is odds-on at 4/6 that he takes home the 100m gold in Rio, 4/5 the 200m is added to his collection and there’s a 2/5 chance Bolt and his team-mates complete the trio by winning the 4x100m relay.
Bolt’s also given just a 5/4 chance of chalking up a new world record in Rio, but it is an outside hope at 20/1 that he smashes all three.
Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “The stage is set for brilliance in Brazil from Bolt. He’s already the greatest sprinter of all time but the odds suggest there’s still more to come from the Jamaican.”
Bolt is making a short visit to New Zealand after holidaying in Australia.
He attended a training session with a basketball team yesterday afternoon and also conducted a coaching clinic with eight young athletes in Auckland.
On a rainy day in the city, Bolt quipped: “This is the Land of the Long White Cloud?
“The weather is really bad out there.”
Bolt isn’t easily scared, but he was taken aback slightly by a vigorous Maori haka performed to welcome him to New Zealand.
Bolt watched, enthralled, as 350 workers from an Auckland factory performed the traditional challenge.
He told the workers: “You scared me a little bit. It looks like something I’d like to do, but we’ll see.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: West