Sun | Jan 24, 2021

'Bolt can better Beijing, Berlin'

Published:Monday | December 19, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates a gold medal and world record in the 200 metres at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing, China, in 2008. - File
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Celebrated Racers Track Club head coach, Glen Mills, believes that his key charge, Usain Bolt, can have his best showing at a major championship at next year's Olympic Games in London.

Bolt set 100m (9.69) and 200m (19.30) world records at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, before bettering that performance a year later at the IAAF World Cham-pionships in Berlin, lowering his own marks in both events with a 9.59 run in the 100m and a 19.19 run in his 200m pet event.

The powerful sprinter had less of an impact at the recent IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, false starting in the final of the 100m, before recovering to successfully defend his 200m title with a 19.40 clocking.

Mills, who has been conditioning the 25-year-old since 2005, told the London Evening Standard that Bolt can do better than he did in Beijing and Berlin at next year's Olympic Games, but only if the weather proves favourable.

Weather critical factor

"He can do better than Beijing and Berlin, but I'm not certain of the weather in London," Mills was quoted. "It's very tricky, but if the weather is right and the climate is warm, he can do it."

Mills also spoke to Bolt's ambition of running in the 4x400m relays at the highly anticipated Games, an ambition he first mentioned in November at the IAAF Grand Gala, where he received - for the third time - the Male Athlete of the Year award.

The coach accepts that it is a desire of his athlete but that a lot would depend on the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association's selection preferences going into the Olympics.

"It's a desire, but there's a lot more to it than what he says. First, there's a trial where the quarter-milers are selected. It depends on what the national body of athletics decides. It's not for us to say. We can express a desire, but Usain is not going to run the 400m at the trials, so it would have to be a decision by the association on it," said Mills, who also believes that Bolt's future lies in the 400m.

"He has all the attributes to be a quarter-miler, but he hasn't taken a liking to the event. He works hard at the sprints, but I guess the 400m isn't for him. When he's not as fast, maybe the quarter-mile will be the option for him. Everybody wants to be a winner and he's just that in his events. He may have a change of heart in the future," Mills added.