STILL THE FASTEST MAN ON THE PLANET…USAIN BOLT
By: Daood Obaid
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Usain Bolt lost for the first time in two years to Tyson Gay in the 100 meters and speculation has been from a nagging injury to simply not being focus. But Aug. 5th The Fastest Man On The Planet defended his Olympic title in the 100 meters beating his training partner Yohan Blake.
My interview with Usain Bolt.
Daood: Beginning at what moment in your successful track career it becomes apparent, that you are on the path to becoming the fastest man on the planet?
Usain Bolt: I think the defining moment was at the IAAF World Junior T&F Championships in Kingston in 2002. I was 15 years old at the time. The competition was for athlete sunder 20. I won the gold medal in the 200m and realized that if I could beat athletes 5 years older than me I must be good.
Daood: Backtrack for us to 2002 in which you became the youngest person to win a gold medal in the 200 meters and the mental and physical preparation that brought about your victory?
Usain Bolt: Being on home soil in Kingston the meet was even bigger for us Jamaican athletes that if it had been abroad. The World Junior Champs is always big but this one was more special as it was our own people – friends and family – watching us run. I was so nervous coming out into the stadium as it was the biggest crowd I had ever run in front of. When I came into the stadium I heard a cheer and was looking round to see what the crowd was cheering at. Then I realized it was for me – It was a great feeling.
Daood: Familiarize for those of us the story of the love for cricket transitioning to track and field?
Usain Bolt: I grew up watching cricket as my dad is a big cricket fan. In Jamaica we play a lot of cricket when we were younger and I was quite good at it. It was my teacher in school that saw I was fast when I was bowling and advised me to try running. I had immediate success and haven’t looked back since.
Daood: 2008 Olympics you accomplished setting records in the 100 meters, the 200 meters, and the 4x 100 meter relay record with your Jamaican team. You’re the first man to achieve this goal. How important is for you to be a trendsetter?
Usain Bolt: I just like to win races. Everything came together in Beijing in 2008 and my three gold medals and world records will be remembered for a long time. I think it was also the first time that the world got to see my personality and maybe the way I have fun and play with the crowd before and after the race was a new trend in athletics.
Daood: Overall what changes can be made to improve the sport of track and field?
Usain Bolt: T&F is a very demanding sport and athletes have to train extremely hard to be successful. The beauty of our sport is that almost all countries are taking part – there will be around 230 countries competing in athletics in the Olympic Games newt year so it is truly a global sport. In order to keep attracting the best talent T&F needs to become more lucrative and innovative – we already tried the street meet concept and this has been successful and may be something that brings more kids into the sport.
Daood: Outdoor or Indoor stadium, what are advantages and dis-advantages when performing in one or the other?
Usain Bolt: For me it is difficult to run indoors as the track in only 200m and the straightaway is only 60m long. It suits the smaller runners. The outdoor track is 400m and the turns are not as tight.
Daood: Upon winning the 2011 World Male Athlete of the year award you stated that, “…it has motivated me even much harder and to enter this coming season with even greater fight.”
Daood: Exactly, what are some of the improvements that you made for the 2012 season?
Usain Bolt: Training harder and longer. I ended the 2011 injury free.
Daood: And your motto is?