Bolt targeting sub-19 run, says retirement not a given

New York, April 22 (IANS) Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt is targeting a sub-19 seconds run in the 200 metres and has cast doubt over whether he will wind up his illustrious career following the Rio Olympics in August.

The reigning World and Olympic champion in both the 100 and 200 metres, Bolt is seeking to become the first athlete to win the events at three successive Olympics, following his conquests in Beijing in 2008 and in London four years later, reports CMC.

“Just to defend my titles, to do the three-peat. That’s my main goal. That’s my main focus,” Bolt said here on Thursday.

“My secondary goal is to try and run sub-19. That’s something I really want and I hope that everything goes smoothly and I can get it. That would be a big step for me.”

The 29-year-old, who holds the 200 metres world record at 19.19 seconds, has struggled with an ankle injury this year, but has slowly worked his way back into fitness and is scheduled to make his season debut next month at the Cayman Islands Invitational.

Bolt is also expected to appear at the Ostrava Golden Spike later in May before participating at his own track club’s meet, Racer’s Track Club Grand Prix, in June ahead of the Jamaica trials.

Bolt said he was carefully building up his fitness with the chief objective of the Olympics in mind.

“I’m feeling OK. My coach (Glen Mills) says my fitness is not exactly where he wants it to be,” Bolt said.

“Starting out this season I had a problem with my ankles and it was a setback, but not that bad. We’re getting back on track and he’s happy with the progress I’m making.”

He added: “I have two months before trials and three and a half months before the championships. I’ll keep pushing myself and hopefully everything smooths out and I’ll be at my best when the Olympics comes around.”

And though Bolt has hinted at retirement after Rio, he said Mills had urged him to keep his options open regarding the issue.

He reiterated, however, that he wanted to go out at the top of his game.

“Coach says I shouldn’t say I want to retire just yet, I should focus on the year and see how I feel after the World Championships (in London),” he said, in reference to the athletics event next year.”

“And if I still feel like I want to retire, I should. But he says to give it a chance, because I think my coach is pushing for me to go a few more years. We’ll see what happens.”

“Personally, I don’t really want to continue for years and years because it’s getting hard. I have to sacrifice more and more. It takes up so much of your time,” he added.

–IANS

sam/vt

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