Jamaican 100 metres world record holder Usain Bolt will run both the 100 and 200 metres at the Beijing Olympics, his coach said on Saturday.
Neither the coach, Glen Mills, or Bolt had previously confirmed the Jamaican would run both events. “He will run both," Mills said.
Bolt had always said he wanted to run both sprint races at the Games but the coach had been hesitant to allow the 21-year-old world 200 metres silver medallist to add the 100 to his Olympic hopes.
The decision sets up the biggest race of the Olympics with Bolt facing compatriot and former world record holder Asafa Powell and American world champion Tyson Gay. Bolt took the 100 metres record from Powell when he ran a stunning 9.72 seconds at New York on May 31.
Powell returned from injury to defeat Bolt last month in Stockholm in their last meeting before the Games.
Bailey predicts Bolt will win 100m
Beijing: Former men’s 100 meters world record holder Donovan Bailey expects Usain Bolt to win the showpiece sprint event.
Bailey, who won the 100 meters gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in a world-record 9.84 seconds, favoured Jamaican Bolt, who had set the world record in 9.72 sec. in May, to beat compatriot Asafa Powell and American
Powell, whose world record Bolt shattered by two hundredths of a second, defeated Bolt, nevertheless, last week in Stockholm, Sweden.
World champion Gay ran a wind-aided 9.68 seconds, the fastest of all time under any conditions, at the U.S. Olympic trials last month.
“For Tyson or Asafa to beat Usain, they would need to have a flawless start and a flawless acceleration phase and still stay relaxed,” Bailey wrote on a Sports Illustrated website.
“It almost seemed like Usain had another turbo gear that he hadn’t unleashed yet, like it was a 120m race,” said Jamaican-Canadian Bailey, who won a funny 150 meters race and a $1.5 million prize in June 1997 over the 200 meters world record (19.32 seconds) holder Michael Johnson to declare himself the world’s fastest man.
Bailey’s pick was supported by Ato Boldon from Trinidad and Tobago, now a CBS and NBC Sports analyst, who netted a silver and three bronze medals in Atlanta and Sydney Olympics.
Boldon said in a column on a Greek website Hellenic Athletes that he was confident that Bolt would win the sprint double if he lines up in both events.
The 21-year-old’s double lineup will be at his coach Glen Mills’ discretion, according to the Jamaican himself.
Bolt clocked the world fastest two times this year in each 100 and 200 meters run. “I would go on record now and pick Bolt for 3 golds in Beijing — 100m, 200m 4x100m — because I have thought so for some time,” Boldon said.
Boldon rated the matchup of Bolt, Powell and Gay the best in the Olympic history, the last two world record holders versus each other and the world champion. “The best starter in the world (Powell) versus the best two finishers in the world (Gay and Bolt),” Boldon wrote.