Usain Bolt: I hope to run the race of my life in Rio

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When the 2016 Olympic Games kicks off on August 5, Usain Bolt will be thinking about one thing and that is running the fastest he ever has.

Although he already holds world records in the 100m and 200m competitions, the Jamaican hopes to run even quicker in Brazil.

“I hope to run the best race of my life in Rio de Janeiro,” he told MARCA at a recent lunch.

“[A world record] is the only title you can have which nobody disputes.

“In football there is debate about who is the best in the world, but nobody can debate who is the fastest.

“Personally, I think that my records will be in place for a long time.”

Motivation

The 29-year-old discussed what keeps him motivated to keep improving on his already-impressive feats.

“I don’t just want to be the best, I want to be the greatest,” he explained.

“To be the greatest you have to keep winning, and that’s what keeps me wanting to make further progress.

“I think it’s always fun to try to win and I think this sport needs me to win.”

Reflecting on the differences between the 2016 Games and his first Olympic win in Beijing in 2008, Bolt admits that the mind-set has changed.

“Now the feeling is different as you feel you have to prove to yourself that you are still the best,” he said.

Injury

The sprinter was also asked about his recent injury and how that has – or hasn’t – affected his preparations.

“I feel good,” he said.

“I’ve been training more gently the past two weeks, but I’m happy to return.

“I had to visit the doctor [Hans Wilhelm Muller], I had to travel and I had to train, but now I feel better and I’m running without any problems.

“In Rio I will be in perfect condition.

“I was in very good shape before this injury so I’m not worried.”

Asked if he had ever contemplated the possibility of defeat, Bolt oozed confidence, while also acknowledging there are some impressive competitors.

“I won’t lose any gold,” he retorted.

“If my coach says I can go to the Games and that I will win, then I trust him.

“I think every runner who goes to the Games is strong.

“For example, this season Yohan Blake is back, and you can look at [Trayvon] Bromell as well, while [Justin] Gatlin is also be there and will be an interesting matchup.”

Last Olympics?

One of the questions on many fans’ minds was also asked: could this be Bolt’s last Olympic Games?

Well, the runner and his sponsors aren’t ruling anything out.

“Whether or not this is my last Games will be decided by my boss,” he joked as he gestured to Puma CEO Bjorn Gulden, who was sitting to his right.

“I have a contract.”

Asked where he sees himself in 20 years, he admitted he isn’t yet sure.

“I think I will be attached to the world of athletics all my life,” he said.

“I hope to start a family and continue working in athletics by helping my team achieve its goals.

“I will continue with my clinics to help others.”

As for the threat of terrorism which looms over the Games, Bolt said that he will try to ignore it as much as possible.

“I cannot be worried about something I do not know will happen,” he said.

“There are people who will take care of those things.”

Neymar

Bolt, a keen football and Manchester United fan, also revealed that he plans to meet Barcelona star Neymar during the summer’s tournament.

“I would love to see Neymar, I really like how he plays.”

“We exchanged some messages through people of our teams and I am looking forward to meeting.”

He even had time to reveal his thoughts on the Ballon d’Or debate.

“It must go to Ronaldo,” he explained.

“He has shown and has demonstrated to the public, especially in Euro 2016, that he always helps his teams to win.”

The athletics events at the 2016 Games will be held during the last 10 days of proceedings, from August 12 to August 21.

Originally Published on Marca

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