These are the fast and furious so perhaps it was fitting that they should be introduced to the Olympic media in a facility that was more of a garage than a press conference venue. Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell were on stage. While he may be the third fastest man in the world but with Bolt, in his own words, looking to be a legend, nothing more than a courtesy query was directed towards Powell.
At 25, Bolt already has the world mesmerised at his feet. he has the legacy of three new world records in all three events at Beijing. The only place he can go is down.
One would figure that that plays on his mind. But the fastest man in the world is quick to brush that aside. "I won’t say pressure is anything. For me, I am just focussed on winning. To win a gold medal — that the focus. I am not focussed on what others are doing, I am just focussed on what we need to do and I am just going to win."
But would coming second be the end of the world for him? He doesn't hesitate a moment before he says that number two does not even exist in his scheme of things: "For me coming to a championship, I am not going to even think about losing. I know what it takes to be a champion. I have been to this stage a couple of times so I know what it takes. All I need to do is get it done."
Not the most explosive of starters, the sprinter seems to have made his peace with the fact. "I have learnt not to worry about the start anymore. I was never a good starter, I am never going to be a great starter. I have gotten past that and am focussed just on running."
The L word's been n the air in synch with the B one. Becoming a legend is Bolt's self-professed aim. "Different people say different things (about what it would take to be a legend). For me it’s about defending my titles." He dismisses injury worries. "My back was stiff because of my action but we fixed that."
Above all, he stays cool. "That's who I am. I am always cool. I am just a fun person." While there is immense speculation about the rivalry with young Yohan Blake — also from the same club fittingly called 'Racers' — Bolt himself chooses to dismiss it. "We are really good friends. People say a lot of things about secret training at night and all that. A lot of it is not true. We train together often."
So, you think this Bolt fellow looks cool on TV. You need to get up close. He is a ripple of muscle as he strides in. That laconic drawl does not get frazzled, no matter how inane the question. Bolt's head inhabits a place where he breathes easy. It reflects in his confidence -- almost bordering on arrogance -- it resonates through his body language. And when he says he will win, he doesn't hesitate, he, somehow does not sound cocky.
Coming from him, it all seems to be just matter of fact. of course, the fact of the matter is that he stays the sprinter to beat this Olympics in what is set to be the greatest coming together of speed talent in the history of the world. And in his own words Bolt is, "Ready to go."