Usain Bolt allays hamstring injury concerns ahead of Rio Olympics
Olympic sprinting legend Usain Bolt insists he has no fitness problems after a recent hamstring injury scare.
The 29-year-old pulled out of the 100m final at the Jamaican Olympic trials, but will race in his first 200m of the season in London on Friday.
“My hamstring is good. I have no issue right now,” Bolt said.
“I had a strain. If I’d competed I probably would have torn my hamstring really bad, but I was never really worried. I know I’m in good shape.”
Bolt will return to the Olympic Stadium in East London, scene of his three gold medals at the London 2012 Games, in his final competitive race at the Anniversary Games before he attempts the “triple triple” of 100m, 200m and 4x100m Olympic golds in Rio next month.
“I’m here to win,” he said. “I’m always excited to be here and it is going to be a lot of fun.
“I needed a 200 race. I hadn’t run all season, so I’m happy to run my first one here.”
Asked about his rivalry with American Justin Gatlin, whom he beat in both the 100m and 200m at last year’s world championships, Bolt said: “I am definitely a tough competitor.
“Last year, Gatlin was just not ready, it was the first time he was being chased, he was usually the one winning by far, but he had a tough competitor and it was hard for him. This year, I am in much better shape so I won’t leave it to the last second.”
Bolt won the 200m in 19.55 seconds in Beijing last year, and asked if he could beat his 2009 world record of 19.19 in Rio, he said: “It’s possible.
“I’m happy I didn’t get a really bad setback this season and I think the competition of the 100m will help my focus in trying to break the 200m record.”