Sports / Track and field

Pressure no bother for Bolt

By Tym Glaser (China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-21 08:07

The simmering sprinting feud between the United States and Jamaica will be reignited at the Bird's Nest this weekend, but you'd never know it by looking at perhaps the calmest man on the planet, Usain Bolt.

The world record holder in both sprint events casually lounged in a chair in front of a select media audience at the new Nuo hotel in Lido on Thursday, answering questions ranging from his rivalry with US star Justin Gatlin to if he will suit up for his favorite soccer team, Manchester United, after he hangs up his spikes.

He was even asked to name his favorite love song on Chinese Valentine's Day.

"I'm over trying to play for Manchester United, but you never know what the future holds," said Bolt, who turns 29 today.

Completing the double of the most probing questions he said: "I am not really big on love songs. One song that always comes to mind is R. Kelly's 'Back in Time', I think."

He politely declined a request to sing it: "I can't sing to save my life!"

Bolt was possibly referring to the hit If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time, but with the heats and finals of the men's 100 meters on Saturday and Sunday, he was a little more focused on defending that crown and his 200m title later next week.

"I am here to defend my titles. I am ready to go and I'm looking forward to the competition," he said.

"The last time I was here was really exciting and I really enjoyed that. Just looking forward to the same vibe and same results," said the man who burst onto the international scene with gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics - a feat he repeated in London four years later.

"I am good now. I've been training good, everything has been coming along well ... I've been doing a lot of work on my start and my coach is happy. I can't complain, I am happy with where I am now and it is just about going out there and executing.

"I had (injury) problems early in the season so I had to start late. Most of my races weren't as smooth as I wanted. I got the problem fixed and it was all about training with (a major) competition coming. That was my focus.

"I really can't say where my form is at the moment, but I ran well in London so I feel confident. I feel I am in good shape to run in a championship but, for me, you never know where it is at until you get on that track and compete, so we will see what happens."

Life after the Beijing championships, the Rio Olympics and the London world championships in 2017, which he says will be his sprinting swansong, is not on Bolt's radar right now.

"I would say I don't want to do much after I retire," he said.

"As most athletes do, maybe go into analytical work, stuff like that, but right now I have two more solid seasons to go and I will leave that up to my (management) team to work out which is the best direction to go."

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