Bolt lets good times roll without the parties
Thursday, 14 August 2008

BEIJING, Aug 13 ( - Jamaican Usain Bolt has buried his reputation for laziness over a couple of sensational years in which he has become one of the world's best 200 metres runners and set a new 100m world record.

The 21-year-old, a favourite for both sprints at the Beijing Olympics, readily admits that there was a period when his love of a good time meant he was not making the most of his undoubted athletic talent.

"When you're young all you think about is enjoyment, you don't really worry about what the future holds … being a youth," he said.

"But after a while being on the circuit and seeing what can be done. This is what I do for a living so I gotta really focus on what I want. I'm focused now, I know what I want."

Bolt, once a keen cricketer and still a big fan of music and dancing, first marked himself out as a major talent when he won the world junior 200m title in Kingston in 2002.

"After the world juniors people were saying 'you're fast kid', I was 15 then and they said 'you can be one of the greatest'," he said. "That did not mean a lot to me then but now I know what they're talking about."

Those around him advised him that his attitude had to change.

"A lot of people, my parents, my coach, (my agent) everybody trying to say 'you have a bright future in track and field' and explain what you can get out of it and so on," he said.

The world championship silver medallist pays special tribute to his coach Glen Mills for how his career has turned out.

"I started with coach Mills in 2005 and from that moment on I've been going up," he said. "I started slow but now I'm there and I'm just trying to stay on top now."


Mills wanted Bolt to double up with the 200 and 400 and Bolt admitted his desire to switch to the 100 was inspired by wanting to avoid the harder work of training for the one-lap event.

"I hadn't had much chance to run the 100 metres, my coach has been forcing me to run the 400," he said. "I guess it's just instinct I'm working on, I'm just trying to stay away from the 400 metres."

Mills told Reuters last month that he had agreed to let Bolt run one 100 metres race if he broke Don Quarrie's Jamaican 200 metres record. Bolt duly delivered.

The tall Jamaican ran 10.03 seconds in his first 100 outing, 9.76 seconds—the second fastest of all time—in his third race and on the last day of May stormed to a new world record in 9.72 seconds.

"I guess I just blew people's minds with the 100," he said, adding that his life had not changed: "I just train a little bit harder, that's it."

"I've just added a new event," he said. "I'm still the fastest 200 metre runner anyhow."

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