Bolt can do 200-400 double, says Quarrie
Posted by Dresonic on April 23, 2007
FIVE-TIME Olympian Donald Quarrie says Jamaica’s World Junior 200-metre record-holder Usain Bolt has the quality to be the best exponent of the gruelling 200-400m sprint double in world athletics.
|BOLT… I’m looking forward to living up to expectation|
“He has the talent to do it and it comes down to how much he wants to do it because his range is outstanding, his ability is outstanding, but it’s really how you approach that event that is most important; how much he wants to succeed at both events,” said Quarrie, the 200m gold medallist at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
“… The 400m is not a joke event and I believe if he gets more determined… he’ll do well,” added Quarrie, renowned for his dexterity in running the curve.
Bolt, who opened this season with a 45.92secs clocking at the Camperdown Classics in February, will run his second quarter-mile at the Guadeloupe Grand Prix on May 1, and his third at the May 5 Jamaica International Invitational meet at the National Stadium.
Humbled by Quarrie’s words and pointing to a similar sentiment echoed by Atlanta Olympics 200-400-metre double champion Michael Johnson of the USA a few years ago, Bolt is hoping to accomplish that feat.
“I’m really looking forward to living up to this expectation from a great Olympian like Quarrie… in the future,” the affable Bolt told the Sunday Observer on Wednesday after completing a workout at the Stadium East field.
“My coach (Glen Mills) decided that we’ll be starting the 400 this season and next season we’ll be going into it a little bit more, so right now we’re just using the 400 to work on my strength so I can run some better 200s later this season,” added the 20-year-old.
Since 2003 when he registered a superb 45.35secs at age 16, track & field aficionados thought Bolt would become the country’s dominant quarter-miler on the world stage.
“Basically what we’re trying to do in the first part of the season is to get as much strength as we can, both for speed, endurance, and explosive strength, and to this we have run one 400m,” Mills told the Sunday Observer.
He said they’re hoping to run a few more 400s ahead of the National Championships from June 23-25.
“We have two more coming up and hopefully we’ll get something worthwhile out of them. I would love to see him (Bolt) take up the 400 as an event, so I hope we’re making strides towards that,” Mills reasoned.
Bolt has run four sub-20secs over 200m, which ranks him 10th on the all-time world list. He is a mere 0.02secs off Quarrie’s national record of 19.86secs.
Of the current crop of 200m runners, only three – Americans Wallace Spearmon (8), Tyson Gay (7) and Shawn Crawford (5) – have run more sub-20 times than Bolt.
And Quarrie expects his 36-year-old record to be lowered some time this season.
“His (Bolt’s) goal, I’m sure, is set on trying to go faster, not just to break the national record, but to be No 1 in his particular event and that’s what I would encourage him to do,” noted the six-time Commonwealth Games winner from 1970 to 1978.
Bolt says the record must go if he is to win his first global Senior medal at this summer’s IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan, from Aug 25 to Sept 2.
“I think I’ll have to get down to 19.7secs to even contest against the best and I’m looking forward to break the national record as soon as possible,” Bolt confirmed.
Affected by a hamstring injury in the last 60 metres of the last World Championship in Helsinki, the lanky Jamaican finished last in 26.27secs.
“I should get a medal (this time), because I’m training real hard to be in the top three in Osaka,” said Bolt, who clocked a PR 19.88secs in Lausanne, Switzerland, last July in finishing behind Xavier Carter (19.63) and Gay (19.70).
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