Kingston (Jamaica), May 19:
Jamaica’s six-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt says his main focus for the remainder of his sprinting career is to secure a legacy as the greatest athlete of all times.
Bolt’s disclosure comes ahead of his eagerly anticipated showdown with world-leading American Justin Gatlin and Jamaica’s perennial sub-10 sprinter Asafa Powell, CMC reported on Tuesday.
The sprint superstar says his primary focus now is his place in history as he prepares to retire in 2017.
“In the past, we (coach Glen Mills) have sometimes focused on the clock and getting records. Other times, it has been on medals. Now it’s all about securing my legacy,” said Bolt.
“Someone may come along one day and break one of my records, but to beat my legacy, they have to beat my whole body of work. So the more I can win, the greater that gets, and the harder it will be to overshadow. That’s what’s getting me out of bed now.”
In August, Bolt is returning to the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, where he sped to a sprint double world record 9.69 and 19.30 seconds, respectively, at the 2008 Olympics.
There is mounting anticipation over his potential clash with his main rival Justin Gatlin, who ran the fastest 100 metres of his life and the quickest in the world this year at 9.74 seconds in Doha on Friday.
The global sprint icon says he has no intention of slowing down.
“I’m already the greatest sprinter of all time, but if I continue to win golds, I could be the greatest athlete of all time,” said Bolt.
“Legacy is the main word in my life now, and that means if I’m five metres ahead with 10 to go, I won’t be slowing down and beating my chest. I’ll be pushing to get the best time I can, every time.”
Apart from the World Championships in Beijing in August, Bolt’s schedule also includes the Rio Olympic Games 2016 and the London World Championships in 2017 before calling it a day.
“The plan in that time is three golds in Beijing; three in Rio to make a triple-triple; and then one in London, as I’ll only be doing the 100 metres,” said Bolt.
“In short, I’m aiming for continued greatness.” (IANS)