Money not priority for Bolt
Posted by Dresonic on December 8, 2008
|BOLT… only 22 years old and has 10 years to chase money|
Chasing money on the European circuit will not be among the top priorities of the 2008 IAAF male Athlete of the Year Usain Bolt, next season. That’s the word from track and field agent, Ricky Simms, who has been managing the affairs of Jamaica’s triple Olympic gold medallist on the international scene since 2004.
“I think what is more important for Bolt is that he’s not chasing money,” Simms told the Observer in Monaco last month, where the lanky sprinter became only the third Jamaican to receive the prestigious IAAF Award Athlete of the Year.
“He’s got a programme that is progressive. Coach Mills will dictate where he runs to get him ready for the World Championships and his performance will come first as opposed to chasing money on the circuit because he’s only 22 years old and he’s got 10 years to chase money, so he doesn’t have to do that yet,” he added.
During the World Athletics Gala in Monaco last month, Bolt indicated that he would not be attempting to win the US$1-million European Golden League jackpot as he focuses on the World Championships in Germany.
“The priority will be the World Championships in August in Berlin. In 2010 things will be different,” the Jamaican track star said.
Simms disclosed that Bolt will command the highest appearance fees next season after his superb performances in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relays at this summer’s Beijing Olympics.
“He’s the most valuable athlete on the circuit… and all the meets will like to have him of course,” Simms said.
In August, Bolt became Jamaica’s first ever Olympic 100m champion by clocking a world record 9.69 seconds despite easing up in the last 15 metres; posted 19.30 secs to erase American Michael Johnson’s 12-year-old 200m mark of 19.32, before helping the 4x100m relay team to gold in another world record of 37.10secs.
Bolt could receive as much as US$200,000 to appear in a single race, even as the world economic crisis takes its toll.
“Some meets, their budgets are not big enough to have him and that’s a problem that they’ll have, so the market will dictate what he can receive,” added Simms who also manages two other Jamaicans – sprint hurdler Delloreen Ennis-London and quarter-miler Germaine Gonzales.
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