200m world record tops Bolt list - Jamaican superstar aims to repeat treble in Rio
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:
Samba drums and skimpily clad Brazilian dancers; a little jig here and there by Usain Bolt, with even Mike Fennell, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) boss getting in on the act.
It's not a Usain Bolt press conference if it's a normal press conference. But while the record-chasing Jamaican gets ready to bring the party to the Olympics sprints, it was also clear that the world's fastest man is not interested in dancing quietly into the sunset - he wants to go out with a bang.
Bolt touched on everything, from having to buy a TV for his apartment at the Olympic Village to entertain himself, to why fans should keep faith in a sport that has been repeatedly rocked by doping scandals.
Rio 2016 will be the six-time Olympic champion's final strides under the five rings, but creating history and retaining the three gold medals he won at his last two outings and lowering his 19.19 200m world record, remain very much at the top of his to-do list here.
"I'm looking forward to it. I'm all about championships. As a young kid, I grew up looking forward to the big games. Championships are what matter. I always try to do my best here, it's what I do and I look forward to it," said Bolt.
He's also looking forward to lowering his 200m mark. It's his favourite event, but even Bolt has a limit.
"I really want that one. I have always wanted to run sub-19 and I'm focused on that. I think it's going to be a little bit harder because I missed out on trials and few weeks of training, but you never know. After the rounds of the 100m, it always helps my 200m, so hopefully, that will help me to go on and get it," said Bolt, who again underlined that he will not return to the Olympics after his campaign here.
"A lot of people won't be happy, but yes, it's my last Olympics, I think this is the last one for sure. I've done enough and proven myself over and over again," he said.
"No, it hasn't been a perfect season, but I'm in much better shape. I was really unhappy that I didn't get the races in at our trials because I needed those runs, but I've been training well, executing well in training, my coach is happy, so it's all good," added Bolt, who says he is not focusing on any particular rival.
FOCUS ON LANES
"I never focus on any one individual because when you do that, what happens when that person isn't there? I always focus on all the other lanes. No one knew I would false start in 2011, so anything can happen, so I never focus on any one athlete," said Bolt, who also touched on the sport's struggles with doping.
"I think we are going in the right direction. I think they have done well to weed out the bad ones and we are heading in the right direction. People should have faith (in athletics), like I said, because we are heading in the right direction. We have had a few rough years, but I think in a few years, the sport will be clean and everything will be great," Bolt said.
If Bolt matches his previous triple gold medal performances, he will match the athletics record of nine gold medals. He would also become only the second person to win three or more gold medals in at least three Olympic events. Only swimmer Michael Phelps has achieved this to date, winning three gold in four events.
He would also match Phelps in winning three Olympic gold medals at three Olympic Games. Phelps achieved this in 2004, 2008 and 2012.