Sunday, August 3, 2008

It's Bolt at the double

published: Sunday Gleaner | August 3, 2008

KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC):

WORLD RECORD holder Usain Bolt will run the sprint double at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, his coach Glen Mills confirmed yesterday.

Bolt had expressed his interest in running both events at the August 8-24 Games, but said he would leave the decision up to his coach.

"He will run both," Mills said in a statement, ending weeks of speculation over the issue.

The plan at the start of the season was to focus on the 200 metres, a race Bolt won a bronze medal in at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan last year.

However, things took off for the lanky sprinter in May when he produced three sub-10 clockings in the 100-metres, including a world record of 9.72-seconds.

Fast and strong

"From his training and racing performances, coach Mills feels that Usain is fast and strong enough to do both races," one of Bolt's managers, Ricky Simms, told CMC Sports yesterday.

Bolt replaced Asafa Powell as the world record holder at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York on May 31 when he destroyed a strong field, which included American world champion Tyson Gay.

He went on to take the sprint double at the Jamaican National Championships in June - beating Powell in the 100 metres - though it was evident that neither sprinter extended himself.

Powell defeated his countryman in Stockholm on July 22 when he out-leaned Bolt at the tape to win by .01-seconds.

The inclusion of Bolt in the 100m for Beijing sets up a huge showdown with Powell and Gay, the latter of whom is expected to be fit for the race despite a hamstring scare four weeks ago.

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