Athletics: Bolt going into final staight more relaxed

USAIN BOLT, the nine-time Olympic gold medallist, on why he is the man to beat.
USAIN BOLT, the nine-time Olympic gold medallist, on why he is the man to beat.

LONDON • Usain Bolt has admitted that he struggled to motivate himself to train before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, but says the pressure is off as he approaches his final season on the track.

The Jamaican, who won individual golds in the 100m and 200m in Rio before rounding it off by anchoring his country to the 4x100m title, says he is more relaxed as he prepares to retire after next year's World Championships in London.

"The workload I had leading up to the Olympics and even at the 2015 World Championships meant there was so much pressure and stress that it just wasn't fun any more," said Bolt, who confessed he had sometimes struggled to get out of bed before rediscovering his groove in training. "But now the pressure is gone. I'm much more relaxed and happy to go to training because I know it's not going to be so intense anymore."

The 30-year-old said the fact he would run only the 100m in London meant he would be able to change his training regimen to make it less hard and "more efficient".

Still, he warned his younger rivals such as Canadian Andre de Grasse, who took silver in the 200m in Rio, that he was still the man to beat.

"I never want to lose," he said. "Even in a simple board game. I'm always going to be prepared, no matter how much I relax, I am still a competitor. I'm still never going to lose."

OUT TO SWEEP THE BOARD

I never want to lose.

Even in a simple board game. I'm always going to be prepared.

USAIN BOLT, the nine-time Olympic gold medallist, on why he is the man to beat.

Speaking before the premiere of I Am Bolt, a documentary which was released on DVD yesterday, Bolt also confirmed reports that he would train with the Bundesliga football side Borussia Dortmund, but said it would not be until the end of the 2017-18 season.

"It's something I always wanted to try to see if I was any good at," he said. "I will do a little training to see whether I am worthy."

He also confirmed that he had spoken to the International Associatoin of Athletics Federations president Sebastian Coe about an ambassadorial role in track and field after he retired, and said he also wanted to do more charity work.

"I don't want to just walk away from the sport," he said. "I've said to him I would love to continue to be a part of the sport and promote it in any way possible. I've also talked to my team and explained I need to do more charity work. Those are the two main things I am really focused on after retiring."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2016, with the headline 'Bolt going into final straight more relaxed'. Print Edition | Subscribe