September 6, 2013 / 9:51 PM / 6 years ago

Years of sprinting starting to take toll, says Bolt

Usain Bolt of Jamaica (R) runs next to Nesta Carter of Jamaica (L) and Justin Gatlin of the U.S. on his way to win the men's 100 metres during the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting, also known as Memorial Van Damme, in Brussels September 6, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The main aim next season for world and Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt is to stay injury free as years of dominating the 100 and 200 meters have begun to take their toll on the tall Jamaican’s body.

“I remember going to my doctor and he told me I had to pay close attention to my back. I know I have to be more focused on staying in shape,” the 27-year old told a news conference in Brussels after the last Diamond League meeting of the year.

“The older you get the harder it is to come back from injury. I gotta stay injury-free during the season that’s the main factor,” added Bolt who was dogged by a hamstring problem earlier this year.

The world record holder once again defeated his rivals over 100 meters on Friday but performed fewer of his trademark theatrics and, after overcoming a slow start to win in 9.80 seconds, conceded he was getting tired.

“I’ve been smiling ever since I came to the stadium because I knew it was the last one of the season. I’m just happy to be done and looking forward to going home,” said Bolt, who will take a few weeks holiday before beginning his training again in mid October.

With no Olympics or world championships being held next year, Bolt has yet to make up his mind whether to participate at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

As a hard season, during which he won gold in the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay at the world championships in Moscow last month, came to a close, Bolt said he still loved being the centre of attention and the showman of athletics.

“I never get tired of this. This is what I do, I’m not trying to be someone I’m not. It’s something I love to do. The crowd makes it easy,” he said.

“It’s all about the crowds. I love meetings that have great crowds. I give them energy, they give me back energy. It’s all about putting on a great performance for them.”

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Alison Wildey

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