Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Bolt Unsure About 2017

Published:Tuesday | December 8, 2015 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence
Usain Bolt

As can be expected, the incomparable Usain Bolt is looking forward to the Olympic Games next year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The picture isn't so clear when it comes to the 2017 World Championships in London. According to a report carried in the November issue of Track and Field News, Bolt will make his mind up about competing in 2017 after Rio.

According to Track and Field News, Bolt is contemplating advice from coach Glen Mills. "After Rio, as I said, my sponsors want me to go one more year," he recounted, "but my coach said: "Listen to me, 'if you're not going to be serious about going to the World Championships in London, then I shouldn't go'."

Bolt, who has won two Olympic sprint doubles and seven individual World Championship gold medals, explained: "So it's all about how I feel after Rio, if I can really put my body through one more season."

This year, he suffered through a restrictive back injury. Treatment in Germany helped him to recover just in time to defend his World titles in Beijing, China.

Olympics outlook bright

His outlook on the Rio Olympics was much brighter.

"As long as I don't get injured next season, it's going to be great," he said just after winning the 200 metres in a world-leading time of 19.55 seconds in Beijing.

The interview appeared in the 'Last Lap' section of November's issue of Track and Field News.

Sprinting is a young man's game, but there are instances of high performance at a relatively advanced age. Thirty-year-old American Carl Lewis won his third World 100 metres title in 1991 in world record time. Linford Christie of Britain took the Olympic gold medal a year later at 32 years old and confirmed his superiority with a World Championship win in 1993 at 33.

Bolt will celebrate his 31st birthday just after the 2017 World Championships. A win there in the 100 metres would break his tie for the most wins in that event with Lewis, who won in 1983, 1987 and 1991 when the Worlds were staged every four years. The Jamaican already has the most wins in the 200m with success in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015. By comparison, Calvin Smith and Michael Johnson of the United States both won the event on two occasions each, with no one else taking gold in the curved sprint more than once.