June 12, 2015 / 10:10 PM / 2 years ago

Bolt focus on 200 in quest to break 19-second barrier

Usain Bolt poses for a portrait in New York June 11, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Usain Bolt has two main goals still to achieve in his brilliant sprinting career and may offer a peak of his progress toward one of them at the Adidas Grand Prix athletics meet on Saturday.

Bolt is running the 200 meters at Randall’s Island, the distance he is focusing on in a quest to smash his own world record of 19.19 and break the 19-second barrier.

“I have two more main goals that I want to get,” Bolt, 28, told a news conference on Friday.

“The hardest one is trying to get under 19 seconds,” said Bolt, who set the world record at the 2009 world championships.

The other is to sweep the Olympics sprints for a third time in Rio next year.

He has six gold medals after winning the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4x100 meters relay at both the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games.

“Those are my two big goals. That’s what keeps me going, keeps me motivated. Next season is going to be a big season, but I have to take it one step at a time.”

Other featured athletes in the Diamond League meet include Olympic champions David Rudisha of Kenya in the 800 meters and women’s pole vaulter Jenn Suhr, while American sprinter Tyson Gay faces a trio of Jamaicans in the 100 meters.

Rudisha, the world record-holder in the 800, began the year with a pair of wins in Australia, but three weeks ago in Ostrava pulled up in discomfort after 150 meters.

”I feel good,“ Rudisha said about returning to race.”

As for Bolt, he is gradually ramping up as he comes back from a 2014 season limited to three races due to foot and hamstring injuries.

The Jamaican ran 20.20 in Kingston and 20.13 in Ostrava this year but feels he is getting stronger and aims to crack 20 seconds on Saturday, just another step toward his goal.

”I really want to run sub-19,“ he told Reuters. ”If I‘m going to do that, I have to get back in the mode of running a lot of 200 meters and getting back to the perfection that I‘m used to running the curve.

“I think the 100 meters will benefit from me running the 200 meters also.”

Bolt expects to benefit from crowd support.

”There’s going to be a large Jamaican crowd, they’re always there to support Jamaicans. They come out in the thousands. I appreciate that. It’s like a second home to me.

“I know it’s going to be wonderful, I know it’s going to be loud and I know the energy is going to be great.”

Editing by Andrew Both

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