Usain Bolt, the Jamaican who dominated the sprints on the super-fast track of the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Bejing winning three Olympic gold medals and setting fabulous World records in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, will be in the spotlight again on Friday evening (29 August) at the Weltklasse Zürich meeting in the Letzigrung Stadium where the ÅF Golden League 2008 resumes after the Olympic Games.
The legendary Zürich meeting has gathered 38 Olympic medallists, among them 14 winners and 50 finalists from Bejing Games for what meeting director Patrick Magyar calls “the Olympic Games in one night”.
Bolt spoke today to the media, two days before the Weltklasse Zürich meeting in the Swiss city:
“I have achieved all my goals in Beijing,” confirmed Bolt. “I cannot speak about specific goals for the rest of the season.”
“I am not tired.”
“I competed here last year in the 200 metres. The track is very good. I want to have fun and perform well for the crowd.”
Jamaican sprinters enjoyed incredible success in Beijing dominating all sprint events apart from the women’s 4x100 relay team who were disqualified in the final.
Asked why the Caribbean country were so successful, Bolt said: “Jamaican sprinters put in a lot of hard work this season to achieve their goals especially because it’s an Olympic year.”
While there is no prize money at the Olympic Games, it is understood that Bolt has been given 100s of 1000s of dollars as bonuses from his commercial sponsors to reward him for his outstanding successes in Beijing. In turn the three-time Olympic champion has made a sizeable charitable contribution, donating USD50,000 dollars to the children who fell victims of the devastating earthquake in the Sichuan region in May.
“I wanted to help unfortunate children to give back something to the Chinese people who showed me a great support during the Games”, said Bolt.
Bolt is now ready to produce another show in front of the very supportive and knowledgeable swiss crowd on Friday when he will line-up in the individual 100 metres and possibly also the 4x100m relay in the meeting-capping event, dubbed the “Zürich Trophy”.
Rematch – Harper vs Jones
Dawn Harper, the surprising Olympic champion in the women’s 100m Hurdles will compete for the first time in Zürich in a re-match against US compatriot Lolo Jones, the World Indoor 60m Hurdles champion, who crashed into the last barrier while leading the final in Beijing, missing out on the medals.
Also in Friday's race will be the Olympic silver and bronze medallists from Beijing, Australia’s Sally McLellan and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Canada.
The Weltklasse winner last year Sweden’s World Indoor 60 metres hurdles record holder Susanna Kallur, who went out in the Olympic semi-final stage in Beijing, will also race.
“It is the first time I run here. I am looking forward to this race. I am still in good form. My goal is to improve my 12.54 PB set in Beijing. I was very surprised about my gold medal in Beijing. It was a big success although Lolo Jones crashed into the final hurdle,” said Harper.
Lolo Jones will try to bounce back from the disappointment in Bejing. “It was a setback. I am still very disappointed. I have learnt from Beijing. I have set three PBs this season and I have some big races (still to come) this season,” said Jones.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF