HomeSportAthleticsBolt turns attention to 200m

Bolt turns attention to 200m


LONDON – Usain Bolt has little time to bask in his extraordinary 100 metres victory as the Jamaican now turns his attention to the event he loves the most, the 200m, where once again he is aiming to break new ground.

On Sunday, the Jamaican became the only man to cross the line first in two 100m finals, putting him notionally ahead of Carl Lewis, who won in 1984 and was awarded gold in 1988 after the disqualification of Ben Johnson.

Now he hopes to become the first man to win two 200m golds, by any method, and position himself as unquestionably the greatest sprinter in history.

In Beijing, Bolt became the ninth man to complete the 100m/200m double, both titles coming in world record time, and he knows exactly what is at stake now.

“I’m never going to say that I’m the greatest until I’ve run my 200 metres,” he said soon after his 9.63 victory on Sunday, the second-fastest 100m of all time.

“It was all about this, to defend my titles, because this is what’s going to make me a legend.”

For all the eye-catching glory of Bolt’s 9.58 100m world record at the 2009 world championships, his 19.19 200m was arguably the better performance.

Which makes Yohan Blake’s 19.26 in Brussels last year all the more startling and suggests the same two men will be fighting it out again for gold and silver in Thursday’s final after Blake followed his training partner home in the 100m.

With his hamstring fully healed, bolt will be able to go all out and fired a warning to the young pretender who beat the master over both distances in the Jamaican trials.

“I told Yohan the 200m will be different because that is my pet event,” Bolt said. “I’m not going to let him beat me again.”

Having spent more than two hours on media and autograph-signing duties on Sunday, Bolt said he needed to “rest up”.

Though newspaper pictures of him celebrating with friends at 3 a.m. suggested he was in no immediate rush to hit the hay ahead of the heats that get under way early on Tuesday.

American Wallace Spearmon, who finished third in Beijing but was then disqualified for stepping out of his lane, is probably the best of the rest, with Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre carrying Europe’s outside hopes.

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