Rio de Janeiro, April 18:
Sprint great Usain Bolt gave a warning to his rivals ahead of next year’s Rio Olympics by declaring he can beat anybody, irrespective of their form.
Here for Sunday’s Mano a Mano challenge, Bolt was asked about the threat posed by in-form US sprinter Justin Gatlin, reports Xinhua.
“They are all top-level athletes and I respect them all, but I don’t think about their times because I know that when I’m in top form, I’m difficult to beat,” Bolt said on Friday.
The 28-year-old said he was in better shape now than at the same time last year. But he stopped short of saying he could break his own world record of 9.58 seconds at the Brazilian Jockey Club.
“I’m feeling good, better than I did last year, but I’m not focused on times at the moment. I can only say that I will try to run (100m) in less than 10 seconds,” he said.
On Thursday, Bolt revealed he was aiming for a landmark ‘triple-triple’ by winning three more golds in Rio next year. The Jamaican is two-thirds of the way towards his goal, having triumphed in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay events at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games. He also revealed a desire to break the 200m world record.
A friend of Brazil football captain Neymar, Bolt was asked about Brazil’s 1-7 World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany last July.
“I know Neymar is a fan of mine and I am a fan of his too, and yes I did see the 7-1. I didn’t want to talk about this but now you have asked me… it was a shock. Not only for me or for Brazil but for the whole sporting world,” he said.
“Everyone thinks of Brazil as a powerhouse of football. But, as an athlete, I know that these kinds of things can happen to anybody.” (IANS)