Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bolt roadshow touches down in Oslo

AFP | Jun 6, 2012, 06.19AM IST
OSLO: Usain Bolt's pre-Olympic European roadshow touches down in the Norwegian capital on Thursday, the Jamaican track star aiming to ratchet up the pressure on pretenders to his double sprint crowns.

Bolt, the reigning Olympic 100 and 200m champion and world record holder in the two events, rebounded from a heavy-legged 10.04sec in the 100m in Ostrava with a blistering 9.76sec in last week's Diamond League meet in Rome.

"I never doubt my ability, never. People forget, and I keep explaining to people, that athletes have bad days," the 25-year-old said of his outing in the Czech Republic, which he still managed to win despite posting the slowest 100m time of his senior career, albeit in cold, blustery conditions.

"Every athlete can - cricket, football, any sport - you have bad days and that was just one of mine and I got past it and now I'm just moving forward."

Bolt has seen compatriots Asafa Powell and Yohan Blake and American Justin Gatlin emerge as his closest rivals this season, and says the fact that the trio are also running fast was good not only for him but the sport as a whole.

"The season is still early. Everybody is running 9.8 so that's good competition. 9.7 is also good for me," he said.

"I'm happy with the way it is and just want to continue working hard and run faster so I'm looking forward to it. I'm ready to go."

He added: "I will run my best and give the audience what they came here for.

"It was a good duel between Powell and me in Rome and I know that he is strong in the start. It is about technique and execution, so this will not be a problem on Thursday."

Powell, the former world record holder who has dipped under the 10sec mark close to 80 times, will also be on the blocks at Thursday's Bislett Games for his second race against Bolt in seven days.

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