- Title: Bolt says heâ€™s not running scared of challengers at world championships
- Date: 2nd August 2017
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 1, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER, SAYING: "So Usain, it's your last championships, last major event. How does it compare to the others? Your last training, your last press conference, it's going to be your last race, final, podium." (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPRINTER, USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "No, it's the same. I can't approach it any different. I have to.., it's just a championship, I have to come out here and look at it and deal with it like a championship so I'm just really focused, I've been training hard and I'm ready to go. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER, SAYING: "Being in the London Stadium, you've never lost there. Would there not be any sense of emotion for this Saturday or even the next?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPRINTER, USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "For me I'm always confident. I go there to win at all times. I'm always ready to go, I'm looking forward to the competition so for me that's it. I'm just going out there to win this Saturday, next Saturday because I know that my team always come through for me, they always put in the work and I always try to do my best." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER, SAYING: "Come Sunday 13 August, all done, hopefully two gold medals. What is that you want to do out of anything else in the world? What would you like to do away from the track?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPRINTER, USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "For me it's just to do nothing. I think it's just to sit down and to do nothing just to chill, relax. I mean I know that, yes that's it. I mean, two days from now I don't have to train three days from now 10 days from now two months from now I don't have to train if I don't want to. So that's one of the biggest things." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER, SAYING: "I was in Birmingham on Friday I was speaking to Justin Gatlan and he said in that talk he reckons you will come back out of retirement." (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPRINTER, USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "I don't know why he said that but I think I've done all I wanted to do in the sport you know what I mean. I've accomplished all I want to accomplish and I think and when I see him when I'm going to ask him if he's not in pain you know I mean if he doesn't wake up every morning in pain then... because I do sometimes you know what I mean. When I wake up and it's just not comfortable you know what I mean; achilles, ankle, knee sometimes depends. So because we push our bodies through so much you know I mean? So for me I'm happy to retire now." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER, SAYING: "And you talk about the pain. Would you say this has been the toughest years physically and mentally? The tragic loss of Germaine (Mason), you lost the gold medal as well from the relays. I mean has it been the toughest?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPRINTER, USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "I never really thought about it like that but yes it has been tough because for me I deal with situations one step at a time you know what I mean, so I didn't really think that but it has been tough, really up and down season. It has been rough but for me I just try to look at the positives. I always try to take a negative and put it into a positive and try to work forward you know what I mean? So for me no matter how bad the situation I've always tried to turn it around and try to make it into a positive." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER, SAYING: "I lost a friend earlier this year as well. A super-fit triathlete, a good friend of mine. I couldn't get out of bed for days." (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPRINTER, USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "Yes, it took me almost three weeks pretty much too even get back on the track because you don't know how to react to something like that you I know what I mean. So for me it was it was a rough time. It took me time but the friends and the family around me at the time and Germaine's family, a buddy just remind me, said listen, 'Germaine wouldn't want you to be like this'. You know what I mean. He'd definitely want to be training trying to get fit because all we talked about after the Olympics was that this is the last championship you know what I mean. Like this is it and what are we going to do after and how are we going to celebrate and all these things so I have to do this for him. I have to come through and make sure I get it done." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER, SAYING: "Talking about the competitions, why not the 200 metres? You've always said it's your favorite. Why are you not doing it this time?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPRINTER, USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "The 100 (metres) is easier. I mean it is as simple as that, you know what I mean? If I'm running 200 metres it's going to be a lot of work and it's a good thing because I think if it was a 200 metres that I was running and then the whole Germaine situation happened then it would be harder because there now... it would be really bad, you know what I mean?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER, SAYING: "And this is not a case of being scared of Wayde (van Niekerk) or (Andre) DeGrasse in the 200?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPRINTER, USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "(LAUGHS) Have I ever backed down from a challenge in my entire career? I've never. One thing I strive on is competition. I live to compete against the best, you know I mean? This is what I want, this is what excites me in track and field. The faster you run the more I want to compete against you, so that's it and Wayde is running good but it just came at a bad time I didn't know he was going to decide to run the 200 metres this season at the championship, you know what I mean. So it was just one of those things." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER, SAYING: "And come the next championship after you have retired is he (Van Niekerk) going to be the man everyone's wanted to talk to?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPRINTER, USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "For sure. I think he's going to be hard to even beat at this championship over 200 metres. If he gets enough rest and if his body is in good condition I think he's going to be hard to beat over 200 metres you know what I mean because he's proven this season and he's a 400-metre runner, he has endurance and he's proven that he has speed. I think he's the man to beat over 200 metres but he's going to be a great athlete hands down." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER, SAYING: "And for the 100, there's (Christian) Coleman, there's DeGrasse, there's Gatlin. You said he - Gatlin - has fired you up in the past with what he's had to say. Would you take satisfaction from beating him one last time?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPRINTER, USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "For me it's not satisfaction. I go out there to compete against the best you know what I mean. The best seven person will be there with me on that night you know what I mean and I look forward to the competition. I never single out one person and say I'm always happy to beat him, you know what I mean? It's when you compete against great people you feel an honour when you compete against people who you know is going to show up and compete, you know what I mean. Look at Gatlin at his trials. Everybody said oh he's not going to win but he showed up and he won and that shows the level of competitor he is, you know what I mean. No matter... it doesn't matter about age or whatever but because he's been there many a times, you know what I mean, he knows what it takes to win and for me that's the type of person I want to compete with you know what I mean because he knows exactly what he needs to do what focus he needs to be on and the level which he needs to be at. And for me I look forward to competing with him you know what I mean because he's a great competitor throughout the season (and) throughout the years and as I said seven persons who makes it to the finals with me those are the person I'm looking forward to competing against." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER, SAYING: "Usain, Thank you very much." (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPRINTER, USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "Alright, no problem."
- Embargoed: 16th August 2017 10:34
- Keywords: Usain Bolt IAAF world championships Jamaica sprint London
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Athletics,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0016SBTE7Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Just in the unlikely case that the world of athletics did not know what they will be missing once Usain Bolt walks away in less than two weeks, the Jamaican superstar's final eve-of-race news conference rammed home the message on Tuesday (August 1).
These events have become part and parcel of every global championship and though Tuesday's version in east London lacked the dancing girl razzmatazz of his Rio welcome last year, it scored heavily on nostalgia as every aspect of his stellar career was raked over anew.
After the big show in central London, Bolt told Reuters in one of his last interviews before the IAAF world championships in London that he is ready to retire and enjoy life a bit more.
Bolt will be on the track for his 100-metre heat on Friday (August 4)
The eight-time Olympic champion will compete in the 100 metres and the 4x100-metre relay but not his favourite 200 metres. When asked if it was because he was scared of losing to Wayde van Niekerk or Andre DeGrasse, Bolt scoffed at the suggestion saying he had never backed down from a challenge in his career.
Since winning another three gold medals at the Rio Olympics last year Bolt has endured a tough time - his close friend Germaine Mason suddenly died earlier this year and he also lost one of his 2008 Olympic 4x100-metre gold medals after his team mate Nesta Carter tested positive for doping.
Bolt admitted he has suffered a difficult year but he's focused and confident of adding to his gold medal haul in London.
Bolt went on to say that he believes Van Niekerk will be the next athlete to beat and possibly even take over Bolt's mantle as biggest name in track and field.
There could yet be a bright future for athletics after Bolt hangs up his running shoes.
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