Bolt on track - Mills
Kwesi Mugisa, Staff Reporter
Glen Mills, coach of double sprint World Record holder, Usain Bolt, insists the sprinter is on target to realise his ambitions of retaining both the 100 and 200m crowns at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, later this year.
Bolt is expected to make his long-awaited season debut, when he faces compatriot Asafa Powell at the Golden Gala meet in Rome over 100m next week.
In his 100m opener last year, Bolt clocked 9.86 seconds in South Korea, after registering an impressive 19.56 over 200m earlier in the season.
Mills, however, revealed very little about what kind of shape he believed the sprinter was in, timewise. At the same time, the coach rubbished rumours that the sprinter had clocked 24-plus over 250 metres at a time trial last week.
"That's a false report. I do not predict the times, I too am interested to see what he can do in his first race," Mills told journalists at a luncheon put on in his honour by the Rotary Club of St Andrew, at the Pegasus hotel yesterday.
The coach, however, said his elite athlete will be taking a different approach in preparing for the blue riband event this year.
kick off season next week
"He is where we want him to be. We have several months to go to the World Championships and that is his target," said Mills. "Having been there before and being the defending champion, his targets are different. It's not like when he just started, we know exactly what he can do and his preparation is along that line."
He added: "He is scheduled to start in Rome next week. We were a bit behind in our training schedule, but it's a long season. This year is the latest that the World Championship will be held, so we have to strategise our preparations. If you notice most of his serious major competitors have just started running, so it's not anything out of the ordinary to start at a later point in the season."
Mills also sought to allay fears that the runner's troublesome back condition has been a significant hindrance to his training programme this season and insists he will be ready to compete.
Bolt suffers from scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine, which has caused the world's fastest man to constantly undergo treatment from specialist Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt several times per year.
"Going overseas to Wohlfart is a routine thing. He has five visits every year, regardless of what condition he is in, that's standard. He goes five times a year and he has only gone two, so he is doing well," Mills pointed out.