Bolt says he is not fit despite opening the season with a faster time than last year
Posted by Dresonic on February 20, 2009
KINGSTON, Jamaica: Despite cruising to a winning start to his 2009 season, triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt admits that he certainly is not in shape and was happy to get his opening race over with.
Bolt, the Olympic 100m and 200m sprint champion and world record holder in both events, debuted with a relaxed 46.35 seconds 400m win last Saturday.
But despite looking well in control, the Jamaican admits that the feelings afterwards were not the same.
“That is one of the reasons why I don’t want to run 400s,” he told reporters afterwards. “I’m not really fond of lactic acid. I’m not actually in the best of shape at the moment and I’m just happy I got through it.”
The former 200/400m runner, who is being tipped as the man to test Michael Johnson’s 400m world record of 43.18sec, dismissed all speculations about him running the quarter-mile outside of his national territory this season.
“I’m not going to be doing the 400 this year,” said Bolt. “Definitely not. The plan has always been just to do a couple of 400s at the start of the season and then concentrate on the 100 and the 200.”
Faster than last year, but still behind
Meanwhile, Bolt’s victory time at the Camperdown Classics, a low-key outdoor meeting at the National Stadium East track in Kingston, was faster than the 46.94secs he opened with a year ago.
But coach Glen Mills still believes the sprinter’s progression is behind in comparison to last year. Mills, however, was not too worried about the situation, citing that Bolt’s actual season opener will come two and half months from now at the Jamaica Invitational.
“At this time of year we’re a bit behind where we were last year because of all the activities that he’s been doing, but we still have plenty of time to get through the work,” he said.
“We don’t really regard this as opening the season. We regard this as just another day of training. His season really opens at the Kingston International in May.”
After dominating the sprints in Beijing last summer with world records of 9.69sec for the 100m and 19.30sec for the 200m, Bolt is now targeting the sprint double at the World Championship in Berlin, Germany in August.
The 22-year-old again will have to fend off the challenges of his fellow countryman Asafa Powell, American defending champion Tyson Gay and, who knows, perhaps Great Britain’s partially forgiven sprinter Dwain Chambers, who has been on fire for the second consecutive indoor season.
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