Bolt aims to go under 19sec for 200m

KINGSTON (Jamaica) • Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has already started his preparations for next year's Rio Games and has sent a warning to his competitors.

He thinks he is capable of breaking 19 seconds in the 200m.

His world record of 19.19 seconds has stood since Aug 20, 2009, four days after he set the 100m record of 9.58sec, both at the world athletics championships in Berlin.

"I really want to run under 19 seconds," he said at his training base at the University of West Indies in Kingston.

"It's one of my major goals.

"I think it is one of the toughest ones because it is going to be hard to find the right day and, sometimes, the perfect race to get this (200m record).

WHAT HE LIVES FOR
 

It's one of the joys to go out there and to compete against the best because when you go out there and beat the best, it shows that you are the greatest.

USAIN BOLT, who is determined to build a legacy for the ages

"It will not be an easy task but I personally feel I can do it and my coach (Glen Mills) thinks I can do it so it is just about the work and finding the perfect time to do it."

Bolt is seeking to become the first man to win three successive Olympic titles in the sprint events and the 4x100m relay in Rio.

The lanky Jamaican shrugged off a nagging pelvic injury this year to win three golds at the Beijing world championships in August, which included ending American Justin Gatlin's almost two-year unbeaten run over both the 100m and 200m.

Gatlin has already said he feels he is closing the gap on his Jamaican competitor, having lost the 100m final in Beijing by only 0.01sec.

However, Bolt won the 200m more comfortably.

"It's one of the joys to go out there and to compete against the best because when you go out there and beat the best, it shows that you are the greatest," the 29-year-old said in anticipation of facing Gatlin, 33, again next year.

"So, for me, I live to compete and I look forward to my team-mate (and former world champion) Yohan Blake coming back... he's been out for pretty much two seasons."

The Jamaican, whose initial day of training was thwarted by rain, also had a word of caution for Gatlin and anyone else considering to stop him at next year's Olympics.

"Justin Gatlin says he's coming, but for me, I'm much more focused," he said.

"I'm starting the season in a much better shape than I did the last one so it is only forward from here."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2015, with the headline 'Bolt aims to go under 19sec for 200m'. Print Edition | Subscribe