Usain Bolt was his playful self as he cracked jokes with the media on Thursday after he became a ‘legend’ in his own eyes by retaining the 200m gold, but became quite earnest when he spoke of another legend Carl Lewis, who had won nine Olympic gold medals.
“I have no respect for him. The things he says about track athletes; it is really degrading to say that about other athletes,” said Bolt, reacting to Lewis’s insinuations about drugs in athletics.
“For me, that was really sad the other day when I heard what he was saying. I have lost all respect for him,” said Bolt.
He said he felt that Lewis did that just to get attention.
Bolt did not lose his cool even when a journalist accidentally referred to “the Jamaican drug team” — he quickly excused himself saying that it was a slip of the tongue, and had meant the “Jamaican track team”.
Bolt reacted by merely saying: “Without a doubt, we train hard, especially my teammates. We see each other work every day.
“We work hard, we throw up every day. We get injuries. We have ice baths. We are trying our best to show the world that we are clean.”
When Yohan Blake was reminded of the three-month suspension he had been handed in 2009, the Jamaican was equally tactful.
“In life you have to have hurdles. I would rather get mine out of the way early. In life you have obstacles that you have to overcome. I can’t complain. I have to give God thanks, of course,” he said.
Both Bolt and Blake expressed readiness to play cricket in India when the question was posed to them.
“I definitely love cricket. I love Twenty20. IPL cricket is wonderful. I always try to catch it as much as possible,” said Bolt.
He even raised a couple of laughs when he reminded the media room packed to capacity of his ability with the ball. “Chris Gayle is one of the greatest stars that has played the IPL, and, I, Usain Bolt, have got his wicket,” he shrugged.
“I am ready for IPL. I have a lot of fans in India. That will be wonderful,” he said.
The name of the game may be money, as Bolt agreed.
“You have to think about money, because it is your job. This is what we do,” he said, before adding that he was not worried about how much money he made or how much he needed to make; he left that kind of details for his managers.
In the mixed zone earlier, Blake had told the Indian media that he would leave athletics for cricket if he got a chance to play the IPL.