After his record-breaking efforts in the sprints, Usain Bolt is now contemplating a future in the long jump.
The Jamaican has frequently expressed his desire to become a legend in the sport like Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis, who both excelled in the sprints and the long jump. “I tell my coach I'd love to try the long jump before I retire. Definitely,” said the triple world record holder. “Hopefully I can do this before I retire because I think I'd be very good.”
Mike Powell, the American long jumper whose world record of 8.95m has stood since the 1991 World Championships, believes Bolt could be the first to crack nine metres.
“With his height [6ft 5in] he is the type who would scare me … he is tall and fast.” Powell believes the Jamaican could revitalise the event. “We are dealing with a freak-of-nature athlete. He is off the charts. He is destroying other athletes, making them look like kids.”
The debate over whether Bolt will compete in the 400m rages on. The Jamaican said he would run the one-lap distance as a season's opener next year, but reiterated that he was not keen on the event. Could he be persuaded in time for 2012?
“I don't know. I don't want to do it but if my coach decides I'm dominant over the 100 and 200 and let's try something new, I'll definitely try to put my heart into it also.”
Bolt was presented with a piece of the Berlin Wall to take back to Jamaica, an acknowledgement of his triple gold medal-winning performances over the last 10 days.
“Everybody knows my name. I'm as big as Bob Marley because my name is really everywhere like Bob Marley's was when he was alive,” said Bolt who now competes in Zurich on Friday and Brussels next week.