GEORGE TOWN (Cayman Islands) • Usain Bolt will take the first long strides on his road to Rio today when he makes his 2016 track debut with less than three months to go before the Olympics.
The Jamaican sprint king is planning a successful defence of his 100m, 200m and 4x100m crowns in Brazil, an unprecedented "triple-triple" in what he has said will be his final Olympic Games.
The 29-year-old superstar has not competed since winning three gold medals at last August's World Championships in Beijing and is hoping to use this weekend's Cayman Invitational to gauge the state of his race fitness.
Bolt, the world record holder over 100m and 200m, runs in the 100m today at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
"When I left Jamaica everything was good," Bolt told AFP at the sports complex on Thursday.
"This is my first race, so you never know what to expect, because race fitness is different from training."
Bolt, however, believes he is ready to hit the ground running, revealing that training partner Yohan Blake has been in blistering form this year.
"The way I feel I should run a good time, because I train with (Yohan) Blake, who ran a good time (9.93) already this season," Bolt said.
His competition includes training partner Kemar Bailey-Cole and the Cayman Islands' Kemar Hyman, both of whom have gone below 10 seconds for the 100m.
Bolt will also run in Ostrava later this month, where he is scheduled to face US decathlon king Ashton Eaton over 100m.
"These upcoming races will determine where I am preparing for the Rio Games," Bolt said.
"I just have to hope that everything falls into place and when I get back to Jamaica in training, I will know exactly what I need to work on."
Although his qualification for the Olympics is likely to be a formality, Bolt said the Jamaican track and field trials were a priority.
"We always focus on trials (Jamaica Olympic Trials) first," he said.
"I am going to Rio for the three gold medals. That's always the aim and as I said earlier in the season, I would love to break 19 seconds," he said.