Double sprint World record holder and two-time Olympic 100m and 200m champion Usain Bolt was a guest at a press conference today on the eve of his 100m race at the Memorial van Damme in Brussels, the second of two finals of the 2012 Samsung Diamond League.
Below are some excerpts:
How is it now to be Usain Bolt compared to how it was one year ago?
"A little bit different. I think fans are a little bit more crazy. One thing happened that was a little different. I went to Paris for a photo shoot. I got to the hotel where I was staying and there were so many people outside, I was wondering who was staying there. Then I came outside and they went crazy. For me that was a first. It was kind of cool."
What sort of performance will he be satisfied with on Friday night:
"This is a fast track. I think it’s going to be a fast time. My agent pointed out that in the last two races I broke meet records so it would be nice to continue that. I think that would be a good end to the season."
"Mentally I’m drained (laughs). Yesterday I sat down in my room, I was thinking about what I was going to do at the start of the race, and I was drawing blanks. So I know that mentally I’m drained. But hopefully something will come up. I know I’ve got one more run in me."
What does he remember more from last year’s Memorial van Damme – his race or Yohan Blake’s 19.26 in the 200m?
(Laughs) "Everyone remembers Yohan’s race last season since it was a shocker to everyone. It was an amazing run. 19.2, that was a great race. It was great to see that."
On why he and Blake don’t run against each other more often:
It’s all about the time of the season. I don’t think it’s necessary to prove anything at the end of the season. We’ve already raced at the Olympics, we already raced at the trials. We don’t need to run together all the time."
"I think the top athletes should compete together three times a season. If you always compete people are going to get bored. You give it time, long periods between when the clashes come, and then people will really want to see it."
Is there anything at the moment that he wants to achieve outside of track and field?
Right now, no. I’m just focused strictly on doing the best I can do in this sport. And trying to promote the sport as much as possible. Hopefully new sponsors will come on board. It would be better for the sport. I’m trying my best to encourage everyone to come on board.
Has he been home to Jamaica since the Olympics?
"If I go home, I’m not coming back. (laughs) No, I’m going home after this meet. I’m looking forward to going home, having a great time, and being happy."
How long a break will he have?
"We were talking with (David) Rudisha and his coach and my coach asked Rudisha’s coach how long he’s going to have off, and he says, two months. And I said, 'Coach, I really need two months off.’ And he said, 'Do you do one hundred miles a week?’ And I said, 'No I don’t. I don’t even do fifty miles in a year.’ I think I’ll be getting six weeks."
After losing to Yohan Blake in both the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican Championships, was there ever a moment that he worried about the rest of the season?
"No. For me it was an eye-opener. I asked my coach, 'what’s up?’ And he said there’s no need to worry. As long as my coach says there’s no need to worry, I don’t worry."
Will there be any more of a focus on breaking World records?
"Definitely I think one season we’re going to try and see if we can go faster. Without a doubt. I definitely think so."
"I still want to run sub-19 (in the 200). That’s one of the things I always think about and talk about with my coach. That’s one thing I’d really like to try."
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF