- Title: UK: ATHLETICS: Bolt predicts he can run 9.54 for 100 metres
- Date: 22nd July 2009
- Summary: BOLT JOGGING IN GREEN PARK WITH SCHOOL CHILDREN CLOSE OF BOLT'S FEET AS HE RUNS WITH CHILDREN / BOLT RUNNING WITH CHILDREN HOLDING JAMAICAN FLAG
- Embargoed: 6th August 2009 13:00
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA3UW76J9NGJR32NL8M2NHQ3O5O
- Story Text: Usain Bolt believes he can break his own impressive 9.69 100 metre world record and get the time down to 9.54. The superstar athlete is in London ahead of the grand prix at Crystal Palace where he will meet rivals Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell.
Triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt predicted on Tuesday (July 21) he could reduce his own world 100 metres record to 9.54 seconds when the right opportunity comes.
Bolt clocked 9.69 seconds in last year's Beijing Olympic final despite celebrating his victory before he had crossed the finish line.
The 22-year-old Jamaican told Reuters Television that his coach Glen Mills had told him he could run the 100 in 9.54.
"My coach mentioned after the Olympics to me that when I slowed up that I could have run 9.54 if I had continued running hard, so for me we are just working on mainly my starting, going forward in my 100 metres, so I am working on that and I am hoping the time comes when it is definitely needed, like in a really big finals. I would love for it to come in Berlin, when it is necessary because that is going to be a really major finals."
Bolt was speaking to reporters in London ahead of the grand prix at Crystal Palace on Friday (July 24), where he will run in the 100 metres and 200 metres.
Bolt clocked 9.79 seconds at the Paris golden league meeting last Friday despite a poor start and damp, chilly conditions.
Only American double world champion Tyson Gay has run faster this year with a time of 9.77 seconds in Rome.
Gay has decided not to race in the 100 metres at Crystal Palace, only participating in the 200 metres.
Bolt will race against compatriot and rival Asafa Powell over 100 metres at the London grand prix.
Bolt denied he is running scared of Gay, who holds this season's 100 metre and 200 metre best time.
"First of all I am never scared of competition, I strive on competition. For me I look forward to going out there and competing against these guys every season," he said.
He said Powell was in good shape after being injured earlier this season and that Tyson is quietly doing incredibly well.
"Tyson is doing wonderfully, he boasts both the two fastest times over 100 and 200, so he is doing pretty well and he has more time to improve, so these guys are doing well I am just looking forward to the showdown when it comes," he said.
Bolt said he had to do more work on his 200 before challenging Gay at the Berlin world championships from August 15-23 after losing a month's training following a car accident this year. He stepped on thorns when he climbed out of the car and needed a minor operation on his left foot.
He said he is close to, but not yet at what he believes is his personal best.
"I think I am pretty close, probably 85 percent, I have a little more work to do on a few things, mainly just my 200 work, I need to get back because I didn't do so much work after my accident in Jamaica, so I just really need to work on some speed and endurance," Bolt said.
Bolt, also broke the world 200 record in Beijing and was a member of the Jamaican team who set a 4x100 world record.
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