PARIS: Usain Bolt is gearing up for next month’s World championships by competing in the Areva Meeting here on Friday. A world record in the 100m dash at this Golden League event is not out of question.
“I definitely think the world record can go anytime,” the Jamaican sprinter said. “Anytime the weather is good, you never know.”
Bolt set world records in winning both the 100m and 200m at last year’s Beijing Olympics. He also helped Jamaica win the 4x100m relay in record time.
His next goal is to unseat defending 100m and 200m champion Tyson Gay and win a world title in Berlin.
“I got silver last time,” said Bolt, who finished second in the 200m and 4x100m relay in Osaka (Japan) two years ago.
“I’m working hard to get the gold this year. It’s very important to me to win the World championships this year.
“It will be a stepping stone for me if I win, so if I follow with a great year by winning the World championships, I definitely can show the people that Beijing wasn’t a one-time thing.”
Gay, who is not running in Saint-Denis, ran 9.77s in the 100m last week at the Golden Gala in Rome and 19.58s in the 200m at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York in May.
Bolt holds both records with runs of 9.69 and 19.30.
“I don’t fear any athlete,” Bolt said of Gay. “No matter what time I’m running,
“I’m always confident in myself because I know I train hard and I work hard for what I want.”
Bolt ran 9.77s in the Czech Republic last month, but with a tailwind. He then ran 19.59s in the 200m in Switzerland last week despite rain and a headwind, and a bit of a struggle getting out of the starting blocks.
“We watched the race, me and my coach (Glen Mills), we found the problem so we worked on it a little bit,” Bolt said.
“I think I should have a fairly good start at this meet.”
Besides Gay, Asafa Powell is also skipping the meet in Saint-Denis. That could help Bolt increase his chances of setting a world record.
“You run better when there’s less competition in the race,” Bolt said. “I think it’s much easier when your mind is free. The less competition there is sometimes helps you to break world records.
“You never know, it depends on the timing, the track and the wind. It’s all about a few elements.”
The field will include Yohan Blake of Jamaica, Daniel Bailey of Antigua, Churandy Martina of the Netherlands Antilles, 2003 world champion Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Olympic runner-up Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago.
“Competing is always fun for me,” Bolt said. “I’m always confident. You have to be confident when you go out there. You can’t be down. I’m always a confident person when I go down the tracks.”
After the first three legs of the Golden League, only four athletes are still in contention for the $1 million jackpot — Ethiopian long-distance runner Kenenisa Bekele, Jamaican sprinter Kerron Stewart, Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and 400m runner Sanya Richards of the United States. — AP