Bolt focuses on 200m gold despite record

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The Independent Online

Usain Bolt, the new world 100m record holder, has revealed that he may not even run that distance at this summer's Olympics, where his main goal remains the 200m – though he has hinted strongly that he may run in London before the Games get under way.

In the wake of his 9.72sec clocking on Saturday night the 21-year-old Jamaican said that he would definitely be doubling up over 100 and 200 metres in Beijing. But he seemed more cautious yesterday as he explained that the decision – which would be down to his coach, Glenn Mills – had not yet been made.

"I'm doing good in the 100, but I prefer the 200 because I've been dedicating my whole life to it," Bolt said. "I've already done well and I'm getting better, and I would really like to get the 200 gold medal in Beijing." Asked to confirm that he would be happy to accept being steered away from the Olympic 100m by Mills, he responded: "Well – yeah. This is my fourth year with my coach and he's made nothing but good decisions."

Bolt also said he was hoping to compete in the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on 15 July, which has already lined up a 100m race featuring world champion Tyson Gay and Bolt's fellow countryman Asafa Powell, holder of the previous world record of 9.74sec.

"I think I may be competing in London," he said. "I have run there for the last couple of years and I really enjoy the meeting. But my coach and agent deal with all that."

Bolt's agent Ricky Simms confirmed that a Crystal Palace appearance was "very possible", adding that he would be talking to the event organiser, FastTrack, this week. Simms said the plan was for Bolt to run one 100m and one 200m after the Jamaican Olympic trials later this month, where he will double up. "Crystal Palace is one of the biggest meetings in the world and Usain likes racing there," Simms added.

Bolt's next definite racing date is 12 June, when he will run a 200m at Ostrava in the Czech Republic.

Asked to respond to those who had expressed scepticism at his record in the light of the doping sanctions given to sprinters in recent years, Bolt – who was the youngest-ever world junior champion at 15 – responded: "I've been running good since I was young. The record is no surprise to me and other people. I just run clean and try to do my best."

However, he had no problems with competing against former drug cheats, including Britain's Dwain Chambers, who will run his first 100m in two years tonight at Kalamata in Greece. Chambers said yesterday that he might launch a High Court appeal against his Olympic lifetime ban after the meeting.