News - 24.05.2011

Compeed Golden Gala, Bolt: "I'm back to business"

Reigning 100 and 200 metres and 4x100 relay Olympic and World champion and World record holder Usain Bolt spoke to media represantatives two days before the Compeed Golden Gala, the third leg of the Samsung Diamond League which will take place in the Olympic Stadium in Rome on Thursday evening. Usain Bolt will run for the first time in his career in Italy in the 100 metres race where he will take on former world record holder and three-time Golden Gala winner Asafa Powell and three-time European 100, 200 and 4x100 relay champion Vhristophe Lemaitre from France.

What do you expect from your first race in Rome ?

"I feel in good shape. I am not planning a time because I it’s my first race since my defeat in Stockolm against Tyson Gay. This race is a stepping-stone on the road to the World Championships in Daegu. I like Rome and its weather."

To what degree have your back problems affected your preparation ?

"I cannot say it’s a real problem and it has not affected my preparation. I went to Munich for a check. I am not in perfect shape but I can say that I am in good shape.

Has your preparation changed ? What have you done since your last race in Stockolm ?

"It has not really changed. I put on a lot of work on muscular strength. I have just trained hard since Tyson Gay beat me in Stockolm. Last year was a downtime year for me and I did not take very serious but this season I am back to business.

Do you feel pressure ?

"It’s never pressure but I feel a bit nervous because I have not run since last August but I feel in good shape. I cannot set a time goal. This year my focus is not to set a new world record but to win medals in Daegu"

What do you think of your rivals Powell, Gay and Lemaitre ?

"Asafa Powell has been one of the top-three sprinters for a long time. He is great and I am looking forward to competing against him. Lemaitre has the potential to become one of the top four sprinters in the world if he continues to stay focused and work hard. Tyson Gay is really focused. He does not drink and does not go to parties and he is a wonderful competitor."

What is your impression on young sprinter Yohan Blake, who clocked 9.80 in Kingston ?

"Blake is a great athlete. We train together and I know that he has put on a lot of work on his start. I think that he can become one of the top sprinters in the world."

What is your prediction of the UEFA Champion’s League final between Manchester United and Barcelona ?

"I think that Manchester will win 2-1. I am a fan of Manchester.