Usain Bolt meeting the press in Rome (Giancarlo Colombo/FIDAL) © Copyright
Thursday's meeting marks the second time Bolt, the 100 and 200m World record holder and Olympic champion, will race in Rome's historic Olympic stadium. Last year Bolt edged compatriot Asafa Powell by just 0.02 in 9.91. Finishing third was European champion Christophe Lemaitre who will also be in the race Thursday night.
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Bolt, who is the fastest in the world this season at 9.82, arrives after a 10.04 victory in Ostrava last Friday. Here are some excerpts from his press conference today:
On his relatively slow performance in Ostrava:
"For me it's not a worry. It is not possible to run very fast every time. In Ostrava I had a bad day but I want to put that race behind me. This race will not affect my race on Thursday."
On his coach's thoughts about his Ostrava performance:
"We talked with each other about the race. We have analysed every detail of the race. In Ostrava my legs did not feel very energetic."
On how his false start disqualification in the 100m final at last year's World Championships has affected him:
"I just false started in Daegu but I am continuing to work hard and I am getting better on starts. In athletics it's all about dedication, setting high standards and keeping the focus on working hard."
On why other athletes had off an off day in Ostrava:
"You cannot come and win every day. I am never worried. There are days in which you don't perform well but we are all human beings. This happens in every sport."
How does he compare with the same period of the year four years ago when he broke the World record in New York:
"You cannot expect the same situation to happen in different meetings. My coach knows the standard to achieve with the goal to win the Olympic Games."
On what he wants to achieve in Rome:
"It's all about execution. My goal is to execute properly. My coach will film the race and we will analyse what went wrong and what went well.
On his thoughts on running in Rome last year:
"I felt nervous because it was my first race. I felt relieved that I remained injury-free. It was a good race."
On his expectations for Thursday:
"Asafa Powell proved that the Rome track is very fast many times and I am looking forward to running here. 9.7 is always a good time to achieve but you cannot predict what can happen."
More thoughts on his 10.04 in Ostrava:
"You are never happy to run 10 seconds but you cannot stress too much on that. I am confident in myself as my coach knows exactly what to do. I would never worry even if I lost all the races before the Olympic Games. I enjoy my job and I don't try to change my routine just because it's the Olympic year."
His thoughts about Christophe Lemaitre:
"Cristophe is a great person. He does not talk too much but has the right persons around him. I think that he is trained by a great coach and he will become one of the best sprinters."
On his thoughts on the London Olympic Stadium track:
"The track is going to be fast. I am definitely looking forward to running in London. There are many strong rivals but I have a plan with my coach which leads up to the Olympic Games. Before the Olympic Games I will run both the 100 and the 200 metres at the Jamaican Trials."
Organisers for the IAAF