STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Jamaica’s Usain Bolt will be doing his all to make it third time lucky when he races the 200 metres at the Diamond League meet in Stockholm on Friday having lost on his previous two outings in the Swedish capital.
A bullish Bolt spoke at a news conference in Stockholm on Thursday and said he has high hopes for a first victory on Swedish soil, as well as for the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea in August but was not concerning himself with records
“Everyone knows by now I’m all about the gold medals,” said Bolt, who won the 100m, 200m and 4x100 at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the Berlin world championships the following year. “For me I’m going there to defend my titles, and that’s the only aim. I want to be a legend in this sport, and if I want to do that I have to defend my titles successfully.”
Bolt feels that his training regime is paying off, having concentrated on strengthening his back and leg muscles during the season and doing less upper-body work, as well as analyzing his running carefully.
“I need to work a little more on my start but technical-wise I’m getting there,” he said.
Asked why he had never won in Stockholm, Bolt put it down to panic brought on by bad starts.
“When I get a bad start I tend to pop up early in my drive phase, which for me is 30 to 35 metres. My shoulders come up and it doesn’t help at all, because then you get no drive from your hips.”
The Jamaican world record holder feels he is peaking at the right time of the season, and that he will finally break his Swedish duck a little after 2145 Friday local time.
“I’m feeling great, my technique over 200m is always the best, so we can look forward to something good,” said Bolt, whose previous Stockholm defeats by compatriot Asafa Powell and American Tyson Gay came over 100m, where he also holds the world record.
“I went to the stadium yesterday, the curve felt a little bit tight, but I can handle it. I’m looking for a good time. As long as I execute and run correctly, a fast time should come.”
Among the other highlights at the Diamond League meet is Carmelita Jeter’s return to her favourite 100m event. “After six 200m races back to back, it’ll be nice to get back to my ‘baby’,” said the American whose 10.64 in 2009 made her the second-fastest woman ever over the distance.
“This year I have actually been able to start a lot better, if you have noticed that in my races. Usually I always had to come from behind to win a race or even get in race,” Jeter told Reuters in a TV interview.
“But lately we have been working on my start, working on my strength and we have been doing a lot of longer runs since I am running the 200 now.”
Editing by Mitch Phillips