KINGSTON: Reigning world and Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt will return to basics when he runs the 100 metres on Thursday at the Jamaica Athletics Championships to prepare for the World Championships.
Bolt had not originally planned to run at the national trials for the Jamaican squad that will compete at the worlds later this year at Beijing, having already assured himself of a spot in the field at the Bird’s Nest. But his failure to run under 10 seconds in the 100 or under 20 seconds in the 200 so far this season has bewildered the global sprint star and forced coach Glen Mills to change plans and enter him in the Jamaican trials which selects for the worlds and next month’s Pan American Games in Toronto.
Bolt has byes in both the world 100 and 200 after winning both events two years ago in Moscow, just as he did in 2008 and 2012 Olympics. But while making the team is not a concern, finding form is a worry. It was at the Bird’s Nest seven years ago where Bolt set 100 and 200 world record while dancing into the hearts of sports fans all over the globe.
Bolt took last season off to rest and underwent a medical procedure to prepare for what he says are his final three years of competitive track and field, a span in which he wanted to secure his legacy and create history as the only man to win three straight Olympic sprint doubles. But things have not worked the way he hoped this season. After running a sluggish 20.29 seconds in the 200 in New York earlier this month, Bolt has had to change his plans.
Now Bolt can hope for a repeat of the 2012 season, in which he was beaten twice by Yohan Blake in both Jamaican trials finals but rallied to win both gold medals in London, defeating Blake in each final. Nearly 60 men are entered in the 100 but the focus will be upon Bolt, which could help Asafa Powell, who has a season-best 9.84 seconds and will be favored to win the 100 on Friday. Blake, who has been hampered by injuries since 2013, is entered in both sprints, as is Nesta Carter, the sixth-fastest man ever.