(Reuters) – Olympic champion Usain Bolt believes he is getting back to his best after the Jamaican trials gave him a confidence-boost in the build-up to next month’s world championships in Moscow.
The world record holder won the 100 metres at last month’s trials to secure his place at the worlds, having been given a wildcard entry into the 200 by Jamaica as defending champion.
“The trials helped me to get a lot of runs, to define where I should be,” Bolt told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s Paris Diamond League event, where he will run the 200 metres.
“And after the trials, I felt more confident. It felt great to run and actually accelerate at the end.”
Bolt was beaten by Justin Gatlin in the Rome Diamond League 100 metres last month after returning from a hamstring injury.
But victory in the 200 metres at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo a week later, in a then-world leading time of 19.79 seconds, followed by his win in 9.94 seconds in the 100 at the national trials, showed he was getting back to his best form.
American Tyson Gay has recorded the season’s fastest 200 of 19.76 seconds since the Oslo run and tops the world leading times for the 100 with 9.75 ahead of Gatlin and Bolt.
But the Jamaican, who won Olympic gold in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay at last year’s London Games, having claimed the same haul at Beijing in 2008, was happier with his latest times.
“After my first race (in Rome), I wasn’t pleased, really. But last year, I also started badly,” said Bolt. “The second one (in Oslo) was better.
“When you get injured, the more you compete the better you start to run. The body gets used to the competition again, you see the mistakes and you work on them.”
Bolt said he had been working hard, was focused, and sacrificing a lot and now he was on target.
He denied that Gay would be his only rival in Moscow, adding: “Everybody next to me in the finals (will be a challenger). You’ll have the top eight guys there.”
(Reporting by Gregory Blachier; Editing by Tony Goodson)