It may be time to extend those sand pits because Usain Bolt is considering the long jump.
The Jamaican sprint star said he would like to try the long jump some day.
If Bolt comes close to the standards he has set in the sprints, the world record of 8.95 metres could be in danger some day; although he said the addition of a new event to his schedule was not around the corner. Mike Powell’s world record has stood since 1991.
“I definitely want to try the long jump, I think I can be a good long jumper,” Bolt said, on the eve of the Weltklasse Golden League meet in Zurich. “I’ve messed around with it. I think I’d be good. I think I’d have a good distance, just looking at it.”
Although Bolt said he has never measured his leaps, the 23-year-old sprinter who shattered world records in the 100 and 200 metres at the world championships did not put a timetable on his long jumping career.
“Maybe when the races start getting tighter, closer,” Bolt said.
While not ruling out that he might compete in the long jump at the 2012 Olympics in London, Bolt cautioned that it was still just his own idea.
“I haven’t discussed it with my coach,” said Bolt, who added that running the 400 was not in his plans. “I want to try it (the long jump) before I retire.”
That could be some time off. Bolt slashed .11 seconds of his world record in both the 100 and 200 this month in Berlin, winning overwhelmingly. He clocked 9.58 in the 100 and 19.19 in the 200 to improve the times he set in winning gold medals at last year’s Beijing Olympics.
Bolt said he was surprised by how quickly he ran the 200 in Berlin.
“I think the fans were pretty much looking for one (world record) because I also did it in Beijing, so I said what the heck, let’s go for it,” Bolt said. “But I was surprised at how good it was.”
Bolt said he was a little tired after Berlin but that he still may have “three good” races in him.
He would not speculate about Friday’s 100-metre event in Zurich, where he will face off against former world-record holder and Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell.
Bolt earlier made a public appearance at Zurich’s main railway station, stepping out of a black limousine to rapturous applause from about 3,000 of flag-waving fans.
Dressed in a dark-blue T-shirt, jeans and white sneakers, Bolt spent about an hour signing autographs before putting in a brief DJ performance for the crowd.
The Jamaican didn’t race. That job fell to a life-size cardboard cutout, which sped 50 metres along a rail at Bolt-speed. Attempts by fans to keep up - even on a bicycle - all failed.
“It was good. I am surprised how many people came,” Bolt said. “The crowds are getting bigger.”
The Weltklasse meet at the Letzigrund stadium is the fifth of six Golden League events, with four athletes still in the running for the $1 million jackpot - Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, the 5,000 and 10,000 world champion in Berlin, plus three women, 100-metre sprinter Kerron Stewart of Jamaica, Sanya Richards of the United States in the 400 and Yelena Isinbayeva in the pole vault. The jackpot goes to athletes who win their event at all six meets.
Isinbayeva is looking for redemption in Zurich after a no-height performance in Berlin that saw her lose her world title. The Zurich meet has drawn 16 champions from Berlin and 14 gold medallists from Beijing.