'I am fit and ready'
- Healthy Bolt assures that his back is fine
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
"I am fit and ready to start my season." That's the assurance from the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, in response to queries about his health in light of successive visits to German doctor Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt, for treatment and consultation on his well-documented scoliosis condition.
The sprint superstar was born with scoliosis - a curvature of the lower spine - and has felt its effects particularly since his increased physical workload, with related injuries to his back and hamstring playing havoc on his career at times.
Interestingly, the athlete is subjected to specialised back exercises several times a week to help limit the effects, part of the price that must be paid for him to stay atop of the sprint heap.
"It's (scoliosis) not as serious as it sounds but, for me, as a track athlete, it can be serious. "I work really hard to keep it away but, of course, it's still there," said the former world youth 200m champion.
Bolt, who has already seen Muller-Wohlfahrt twice since the start of the year, played down whispers of a possible flare-up of the back problems that led to an early halt of his 2010 season. The fears were due to the fact that while it has become part and parcel for the double Olympic and World sprint champion to see the specialist twice for the year, it isn't exactly normal for him to seek consultation twice so early in the year.
However, the athlete sought to assure that his trips were precautionary and part of his routine.
"I am fine, I feel good and I just went there (Germany) for my regular check-up," Bolt pointed out. "Yes, I know that people have been questioning if I am ok, or when I am going to run, and so on, but so far everything is fine and I'll be opening my season at the end of the month, as was originally planned."
Bolt, while admitting that his pre-season preparations did not go exactly to plan, underlined his anxiety at finally facing the starter this season, and said he was in fact feeling a bit nervous ahead of what promises to be another big season for the sport's brightest star.
The trimmer, fitter Bolt is expected to line up in the 100m at the Golden Gala in Rome on May 26.
"I wouldn't say it's the perfect start to the season. Yes, I've had a small setback but it's getting there and I'm now looking forward to my first race in Rome," said Bolt.
"To be honest, I'm a little bit nervous with it being my first race of the season but I'm looking forward to it and to get the ball rolling."
"I think I have lost about eight to 10 pounds so, yes, I have trimmed down a little and I believe more muscles have gone on. I have been working hard to keep my core together and, in doing that, I have gotten much more muscles, so for me that's the aim, to try and get everything together; my start, full power and everything else."