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Bolt on the upcoming IAAF Championships, doping and more

PROUD: Usain Bolt, centre, with parents Jennifer (left) and Wellesley

USAIN BOLT is looking forward to going out with a bang at the World Athletics Championships in London.

Although he has had a slow start this season he said:

“The last 100m race I ran was a 9.95sec which shows I am going in the right direction. It is all about who can keep their nerves. I have been here many times and I know I am ready. It is go time.”

Bolt said cricket was his first love as his dad watched it.

“My dad watched cricket and I grew up watching it. It was just all I knew. I started watching it at six years old.”

When asked how he found out how good he was at athletics he said:

“It was just from cricket. I did they sports day and they found out I could run.”

He was a rough diamond whom coach Glenn Mills had to polish.

“My running technique was not good," recalling the first time he ran for Jamaica, “It was in Barbados and I was excited especially because I travelled.”


GOOD TIMES: Usain Bolt seems in the mood to celebrate at yesterday's press conference

He added:

"My parents pushed me and encouraged me.”

Bolt has been wearing Puma shoes since 2002, after Pascal Rawlings spotted him. One of the other things that was an attraction by Puma was his personality.

Bolt did not start running the 100m properly until 2008.

“I did not know what to expect. I just wanted to run the 200m. Six months into running the 100 metres I was World Record holder. It was shocking. My coach always knew I could do it.”

When asked to pick one moment in his career he chose his 200m in Beijing when he broke the world record. He said:

“There was no planned celebration and I did not know what to do.”

Bolt was asked how he set himself goals after his achievements.

“Every year I find something else to motivate me. After Beijing people said Gay was not there. I said I am going to make sure I am ready. I broke the record the next year. We all know what happened in 2011. 2013 was all about my legacy.”

DOPING

After all the problems with doping in the sport Bolt acknowledged that things are getting better.

“I said a couple of years ago it had to get really bad, when there’s nowhere else to go but up. Personally I think it was there. After the scandal on Russia I don’t think it gets any worse than that. It’s on its way back up now. No way you can go but up and forward. Hopefully athletes will see what’s going on and understand that if they don’t stop what they’re doing the sport will die. Hopefully they understand what the sport is going through and what they need to do as athletes to help the sport move forward.”

Bolt paid tribute to his late friend Germaine Mason who died in an accident:

“For me it was a rough time. I have never had someone who passed away so close to me. It set me back a little bit and I didn’t train for three weeks maybe. My coach gave me my space. He gave me my time to get over it. But at some point the close net of people I was with said, 'Listen to us Usain, I know it is hard but you need to get back training because Germaine would have wanted it. He was looking forward to coming to your last race and seeing you compete and finishing off your legacy', so that really helped me get going again. It was hard but it became a positive and now I really want to do it for him and his family and all the friends that supported me in the hard times."

Potentially Bolt’s last race would be the 4 x 100m relay on August 12.

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