23 November 2012 – Barcelona, Spain – Double Olympic sprint champion and World record holder Usain Bolt, double Olympic sprint silver medallist Yohan Blake and Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix met with the media at today’s press point at the IAAF Centenary Gala in Barcelona. These were some of the highlights.
Usain Bolt (JAM)
His overall plan for 2013:
World Championships of course but it’s all going to be about speed, really. I want to try go as fast as possible. I think I’m getting a little bit old and I really want to see how fast I can go.
On preparing for World record assaults next season:
It’s all about just training. We’ve decided with my coach that we’re not going to do the 400 or the Long Jump so it’s going to be the 100 and 200. It’s all about trying to go as fast as possible. Try to stay injury-free, make sure I do my back exercises so I’m strong and I’m ready. That’s one of my main focuses now. With 28 and 29 coming up, you start going downhill so I want to get those (fast times) out of the way.
One of the things that continues to motivate me in life is the fact that I have competition. I enjoy competition, I enjoy competing against the best. When there’s no one to compete against in gets boring. First there was Asafa, then it was Tyson, now it’s Yohan Blake. And I’m looking forward to the younger competition coming up.
On not racing head-to-head against Blake very often:
Over the years I’ve watched and I’ve learned and seen sports in different ways. For me top athletes can’t run against each other all the time. That’s going to get kind of boring. Take last season – at the Jamaican trials Yohan beat me, at the Olympics I won. That’s two hot races everybody saw that season. Now this people are going to wonder who’s better. If we run every other race, people won’t care. But if we get two races, it’s much more exciting. I don't think we should run against each other more than once or twice a year.
On competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games:
That’s the only title I don’t have so I think it’s something I’d like to go for, even if I do just one event.
Yohan Blake (JAM)
Was he satisfied with his 2012 accomplishments?
I’m 22, I’m young and I’ve got a lot of years in front of me. I accomplished what I wanted to of course.
Winning at the Jamaican trials was really a plus for me, it gave me confidence going into the Olympics. And to get two medals there and a gold medal in the relay, that was great.
On his personal highlight for 2012 – beating Bolt at the Jamaican Trials, or his Olympic performances?
Usain wasn’t fit at the Trials so I wouldn’t say that. I would say the Olympics. It was my first time at an Olympics and I got to see what it’s like to be there. One of them was also running 9.69.
On his Why be Afraid Foundation:
I say that I’m the cure for poor people. My Why be Afraid Foundation was started to help young kids to develop and also help them be more aware of society.
On his confidence level for 2013:
I gained experience from the World championships and even more from the Olympics. I know my competitors and I know what I can do. I’ve very confident right now after what I did in London.
Allyson Felix (USA)
On whether she’ll continue to focus on the 100m in 2013:
I’m enjoying the sprints. I think this year really showed me that I have a lot more room to grow in them. So I’m excited to see where I can take them. I think that I’m really in my prime now. My heart is in the sprints so I think that’s where I’ll be.
On her 21.69 performance at the U.S. Olympic Trials:
To have that time at the Trials was such a big breakthrough for me. I had been around the same for many years, and to have that come through was like a big weight lifted. And it really boosted my confidence. Then I felt really prepared going into the Games. I wished for a little faster time in London but I did win and had that breakthrough.
On Usain Bolt’s influence on track and field:
He’s just brought a lot of excitement into the sport. For a lot of people who aren’t so into track and field, I think he’s really raised their awareness. His personality, the amount of fun he brings to the track - I wish that I could it. But I have to focus more. I really admire that he can do that.
On her 100m performance in the Olympic final where she finished fifth:
For me the 100 really helps my 200. Also, even though in most people’s eyes I didn’t do well in the 100, it was probably one of my proudest moments. Because it’s my most difficult event and I’ve had lots of improvement this year. To me this is what athletics is really about, to see personal improvement.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF