x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Olympics: London 2012 will be my time, vows Usain Bolt

The Jamaican star insists he is ready to put an indifferent build-up to London 2012 behind him - and make history on the running track.

Usain Bolt gets ready for London 2012
Usain Bolt gets ready for London 2012

Usain Bolt insists London 2012 will be his time to shine by becoming the first man to win back-to-back titles in both the 100m and 200m - despite the emergence of Jamaican rival Yohan Blake.

The 25-year-old sprinter has endured an indifferent build-up to the Olympics, running his slowest 100m in three years at Ostrava in May.

Last month he was twice beaten by his 22-year-old friend and training partner Blake at the Jamaican Olympic trials.

He later withdrew from the Monaco Diamond League meeting citing a "slight problem", sparking intense injury speculation, and was also involved in a minor car crash.

But Bolt insists he is ready to put that behind him and make history in London.

"This will be the moment, and this will be the year, when I set myself apart from other athletes in the world," he told the Guardian. "A lot of legends, a lot of people, have come before me. But this is my time."

But Bolt said losing to Blake had helped him recapture his focus.

"It's always good to lose. It wakes you up," he explained.

"Each training session I'm getting better and better," Bolt added. "I have no other duties now, no worries, it's all about training, eating and sleeping.

"I have a lot more time and can put a lot more effort into training. I'm feeling better every day. As long as I'm feeling myself I'm definitely in no doubt I can go to the Olympics and win."

Bolt also said the Olympics would prove a big test for Blake, who is among a high-quality field also including Tyson Gay — "one of the fiercest athletes out there" — Asafa Powell and Justin Gatlin.

"It's a packed race with top-class athletes so it will be a different level of competition for Yohan. It's going to take a lot of focus. And it's going to cause a lot of stress," said Bolt.

"It will really test him as an athlete — and as a person overall. We'll see how good he is."

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