I want to be a legend: Bolt
Asafa Powell has rarely, if ever, upstaged Usain Bolt but he managed it on Thursday when his withdrawal from the world championships dominated a farcical Jamaican team press conference. Super show in Daeguindia Updated: Aug 26, 2011 01:39 IST
Asafa Powell has rarely, if ever, upstaged Usain Bolt but he managed it on Thursday when his withdrawal from the world championships dominated a farcical Jamaican team press conference.
Bolt was the main attraction at the event which drew more than 500 media to a suburban "cultural centre" and they waited patiently as Jamaican officials opined in front of a banner proclaiming the Caribbean island "The fastest country in the world".
Then, casually, sprinter Michael Frater let slip the news about Powell's withdrawal.
"I didn't come here expecting to run the 100 metres but unfortunately Asafa couldn't make it," he said.
It took a while for the significance of his comment to sink in but once it did, confusion briefly reigned in the hall.
Not yet a legend
So it was a slightly underwhelming moment when the world's most famous track and field athlete finally took the stage to discuss his defence of his 100 and 200 metres.
"This is the first I'm hearing of it," Bolt said of Powell, who had been expected to be his main rival in the shorter of the sprints.
Bolt was thought to be vulnerable in the 100m after back injuries ended his 2010 season.
The 25-year-old conceded he was not at his very best but declared himself ready to defend his titles.
"This for me is a comeback season," he said.
"I need to get back to tip-top condition, I don't think I'm in 9.5 shape at the moment.
"I've said throughout the season that this world championships is going to be the first step in me becoming a legend," he added.
"I want to be a legend," he said. "I'm going to get it done."
Revenge on mind
Russia's pole vault tsarina Yelena Isinbayeva heads into the world championships in the unfamiliar situation of seeking revenge for bitter defeats that shattered her aura of dominance.
The 29-year-old failed to record a height in the final stage of the 2009 Berlin world championships and only came fourth in last year's world indoor championships in Doha.
"I definitely aim to compete in Korea and avenge a two-year-old defeat at Berlin," she said recently.
"I want to win the 2011 world championships, the 2012 Olympics."
The Asian hurdle
And injury had forced him pull-out seconds before his heat at the Beijing Olympics. But the undisputed star of Asian track and field, Liu Xiang, is eyeing World Championships as a stepping-stone on his long road to Olympic redemption.
"(Beijing debacle) shadow isn't following me around anymore. I think about the demons facing me now when I race. I know that I can conquer them if I face them head on."
First Published: Aug 25, 2011 22:43 IST