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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

I was an opening batsman: Usain Bolt

Debasmita Ghosh , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 22, 2013
First Published: 13:35 IST(22/8/2013) | Last Updated: 14:37 IST(22/8/2013)

With his third gold at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow on Sunday (August 18), Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth, sprinted his way to the top of the all-time World Championships medals table. We chatted with him recently.

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You are just 26, and the fastest person on earth with eight medals at the World Athletics Championships. What next?
Defend my Olympic titles in Rio in 2016 and keep running fast.

What do you do to keep yourself fit?
I train extremely hard to stay fit. I try to eat a healthy and balanced diet with a lot of fresh fruits and try and find a balance between vegetables, carbohydrates and protein. I usually sleep for eight hours every night.

If you weren’t a runner, what would you be?
I would probably be playing another sport- possibly cricket.

What do you enjoy doing most in cricket-batting or bowling?
I was an opening fast bowler and opening batsman when I was in primary school, so it’s fair to say I’m an all-rounder.

Your fans have started saying the word, Godspeed, should be replaced with, Boltspeed, in the Dictionary. What do you think?
I think they should stick to Godspeed (laughs).

Have you had a chance to visit India? What’s your take on Indian athletes?
I haven’t had the chance to visit yet, but hope to come there in the future. I don’t know too many Indian athletes.

In your races, you have often shot forth suddenly even if you were trailing behind. What pushes you?
I am a slow starter because of my height but once I get going I am very fast. We’ve heard that you are interested in playing Twenty 20 cricket for Indian leagues. I’m planning to stick to athletics for the next four years, but who knows what will happen after that.

Is your family into athletics?
My parents and sister are big fans of athletics. And I have a brother who plays cricket.

The whole world looks up to you. Who do you look up to?
I admire people like Kevin Garnett (American basketball player) from the Boston Celtics, he has been at the top of his game for many years and has great attitude on the court. And the other one is Sir Alex Ferguson (former Scottish football manager and player, he managed Manchester United for 27 years) for all the success he has achieved at Manchester United.

We’ve mostly seen you in your track pants. What do you love to wear, otherwise?
I love to wear suits- I have a nice collection, and of course, I like to wear watches.

At 16, you were the youngest world junior gold medallist, and you’ve been credited with transforming what was a slowly dying sport with no rock star to a worldwide obsession ever since. What has been your guiding force?
I have a great team around me who always do their best to help me succeed. And my agent, Pace Sports Management, has been with me from the start of my professional career.

When you are not running, what do you do?
I hang out with friends, play video games, watch movies and other sports. I like all types of music, including reggae, dancehall, hip-hop, R&B.

Have you ever missed a train or a bus while chasing it?
No, of course that hasn’t happened!

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