Bolt eager to re-establish sprint supremacy

Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:45pm EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt is eager to reassert his supremacy following an injury-plagued season in which American Justin Gatlin took over as the number one ranked sprinter.

"I felt like I'd retired, the way people were talking about Justin Gatlin," Bolt said with a laugh on Tuesday at the launch of Puma's Ignite line of running shoes. "I found it to be funny. Like wow, I'm one season out and it's like I retired."

Bolt proclaimed himself fit for the new season, which peaks at the Aug. 22-30 world championships in Beijing on the way to the 2016 Rio Olympics, and said he hoped to resume his record-setting ways.

A relaxed Bolt, who has ruled the 100 and 200 meters in the Olympics since 2008 and holds both world records, said Gatlin just kept his seat warm.

"Justin Gatlin did well, he kept the sport exciting," the Jamaican said. "He kept people wanting to see us compete. For me it's OK, and I'm always looking forward to competition."

Bolt, 28, is scheduled to open his 2015 campaign with a 400 meters in Jamaica at Saturday's Camperdown Classic, but did not sound keen.

"I'm trying to get out of it," said Bolt, who finds the 400 to be a chore to run.

Bolt wants to focus on the 100 and 200.   Continued...

Usain Bolt of Jamaica runs on his way to winning his 100m heat round 1 during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 4, 2012.    REUTERS/Phil Noble