Usain Bolt wants to dominate until 2016
PARIS (AP) - Older and wiser, Usain Bolt is out to dominate his rivals on the track at least until the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The six-time Olympic champion, who is competing at the Areva meeting in Paris on Saturday, looks to be back in shape after his form and motivation were questioned following a defeat by American sprinter Justin Gatlin at the Golden Gala on June 6.
Bolt has recovered since then by winning the 200 at the Bislett Games and running 9.94 on home soil over 100 meters at the Jamaican trials on June 21.
And he clearly wants to keep that form going.
"I want to continue dominating until the next Olympics. I have to work hard, train hard and stay focused,'' Bolt told a news conference on Tuesday. "I've won everything already, but now it's to show that I can be a dominant sprinter. You want to dominate for the rest of your career.''
In some ways, losing to Gatlin may even have helped the tall Jamaican to get back into his stride.
"I figured out what I needed to do to get back on target,'' he said. "I've been working hard, I've been focused, I've been sacrificing a lot, so now I'm on target.''
Bolt, who turns 27 in August, is preparing for next month's world championships in Moscow by racing the 200 meters in Paris, the ninth leg of the Diamond League.
It's a meet where he will face compatriots Warren Weir and Nickel Ashmeade, along with former 200-meter European champion Christophe Lemaitre of France.
And it's a meet he is clearly relishing.
"I really enjoy running big races before championships. It tells you where you are and tells you what you need to work on,'' he said. "I know these young guys are stepping up and they're going to come running and pushing you to the limits.''
Bolt is under no illusions about the task facing him on Saturday, and also further down the road as a new generation of sprinters emerges. Weir won the 200 in Shanghai and New York in May, and clocked 19.79 in Kingston last month.
However, Bolt reckons he has experience - as well as speed - on his side.
"It's going to be hard, it's going to be challenging because there's always going to be younger, faster kids coming up and challenging you,'' Bolt said. "I look forward to the young kids coming up and I look forward to beating them also.
"I think I've learned a lot over the past few years. You learn that some things you can't do. When I was younger, I used to do a lot of different things. But now I have to sacrifice a lot more ... because the older you get, the more your body reacts to certain things. So I think I'm going wiser definitely.''
After the Areva meeting, Bolt will compete in the 100 and the 400 relay in London on July 26-27. That will be his final major meeting before the worlds, which start on Aug. 10 and where Bolt plans to win three gold medals.
And he is still sparing a thought for 2016, and defending his Olympic titles at the Rio de Janeiro Games.
"I want to go for Rio to be three out of three,'' Bolt said. "If I want to get there, I have to make sure every year I'm on the top of things. I can't jump off any season. I have to make sure every year I keep pushing myself to keep a certain standard.''
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