Saturday 24 March 2018

Athletics: Bolt insists London gold still in sights despite new injury setback

Robin Scott-Elliot

Usain Bolt's troubled preparation for the defence of his Olympic sprint crowns continued yesterday when he was forced to pull out of the Diamond League meeting in Monaco on July 20.

Bolt, who was beaten into second place in the 100m and the 200m at the Jamaica trials, was said to be suffering from a "slight problem", according to his coach, Glen Mills.

Bolt was scheduled to run the 200m in Monaco in what would have been his last race before the London Games, which begin on July 27.

Mills said: "Arising from Usain's participation at the trials in Kingston, where he had a slight problem, after careful assessment I have had to withdraw him from the Diamond League meeting to give him sufficient time for treatment and time to train for the Games."

Bolt insists that there is no doubt over his participation in London -- the thought of no Bolt is enough to make the Games organisers break out in a cold sweat -- but his build-up to defending his 100m and 200m titles has been problematic.


"I am happy to have earned my spot on the Jamaican Olympic team despite the challenge," said Bolt. "I will be in London to defend my titles in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m."

There were no further details yesterday as to what the problem might be, or whether that was being suggested as a reason for his trials defeats by Yohan Blake. Bolt was seen stretching his right hamstring during the trials.

By the time competition begins in London he will only have raced one 200m this year -- that defeat by Blake earlier this week. The 100m final in London is on August 5 and the 200m is four days later.

Bolt broke the world record in the 100m and 200m in Beijing in 2008, but Blake's two victories against his training partner in the space of three days have thrown both races wide open.

"I'm never worried until my coach gets worried," said Bolt after his 200m defeat, which was by 0.03sec. Mills' decision yesterday suggests it might be time to start getting concerned. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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