Injury free season priority for Bolt

Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:21pm EDT
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By Andrew Downie

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Usain Bolt declared himself virtually unbeatable on Friday but downplayed expectations for 2015, saying his main priority was staying injury free ahead of next year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The Jamaican world record holder missed most of 2014 with injury and American rival Justin Gatlin went unbeaten in the sprints.

But Bolt said he was not worried about Gatlin, whom his coach already has declared no match for the six-time gold medal winner.

"He knows exactly what he is doing, so I don't doubt anything my coach says," Bolt told reporters in Rio, where he will compete in a challenge race on Sunday.

"When it comes to rivals there are seven people beside me in the lanes that count. When I am in great shape, I tell you guys, I worry about nobody.

"When I am at my best it is definitely almost impossible to beat me so all I need to do is be at my best and I'll be OK."

Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m champion, finished third behind Bolt in London after returning from a four-year drug ban and last year recorded personal best times of 9.77 and 19.68 seconds over the 100m and 200m respectively.

Bolt's world records in the events are 9.58 and 19.19 seconds, both in 2009.   Continued...

Usain Bolt (C) crosses the finish line first to win his first 200m race for the season with a time of 20.20 seconds next to Miguel Francis (L) and Nesta Carter (R) during the UTECH Classic 2015 at the National Stadium in Kingston, April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy