Usain Bolt is bidding for historic "Triple-Triple"
Jamaican star takes to the track in the 100m heats Saturday
The sprinter unfazed by rivalry with US athlete Justin Gatlin
Usain Bolt, the most decorated sprinter of all time, is oozing with confidence as he edges closer to realizing his “Triple-Triple” gold medal dream at the Olympic Games in Rio.
Speaking exclusively to CNN’s Amanda Davies, the world’s fastest man, who turns 30 on August 21 – the final day of the Olympics – is certain he’ll finish in top spot in the 100 meters, 200m, and 4x100m.
“I’m going to win the 100m,” says Bolt, who is aiming to become the first athlete to win all three titles at three consecutive Games. “I never try to predict times, I avoid that because you never know. I’ll win all three gold [medals], there’s never anything else for me when it comes to a championship.”
But he’s not only intent on winning gold at Rio 2016.
“I think I can definitely break the 200m world record and I definitely want to. I said I wanted to go under 19 seconds and I don’t know if that will be possible but nothing tried, nothing done, so I will go out there and push myself.
“The moment you start thinking about [not winning] then you start going the wrong way so for me I always think positive. I always think of winning, always,” he added.
It will be an intense week for Bolt who could run as many as eight races over just seven days and the Jamaican admits there’s a sense of relief that his lifelong Olympic mission is almost complete.
“You set goals for yourself and when I win all my three gold medals I’ll be fully accomplished and I’ll be happy. Then it will be like, ‘finally,’ you know what I mean? I am definitely feeling that way.”
Bolt has been the ultimate showman since winning his first trio of Olympic titles at the 2008 Games in Beijing so there was little chance the 1.95m tall sprinter would make a quiet entrance in Rio.
In a vibrant samba-inspired media conference on Monday, the global superstar again confirmed that 2016 will be his final Olympic Games. “Yes, this is the last Olympics for sure, I have done everything, and have proven myself,” he said, adding, “a lot of people aren’t happy”.
In July, Bolt powered through to win the 200m at the London Anniversary Games in 19.89 seconds in his first race since being forced to withdraw from Jamaica’s team trials with a hamstring injury scare.
And the sprinter allayed any fears about an injury hindering his success at Rio 2016, assuring supporters he’s fit and ready to seal his Olympic legacy.
“I’m never worried. I think it was the fact that I didn’t get to compete on my trial and I was just coming off the back of an injury, I was a bit rusty,” said Bolt.
“I needed a few runs, I needed some pace work and after that run [at the Anniversary Games] I got a lot of training in, and my coach is happy,” he added, referring to Glen Mills. As long as my coach is happy then I know I will be fine.”
One man who will be looking to spoil Bolt’s samba party in Rio this summer is US sprinter Justin Gatlin.
“I don’t think about him really [Gatlin],” reveals the Jamaican. “I always try to run the race in my head and try to execute. I definitely try not to sit around and think about people. I am trying to focus on working hard, executing and figuring out what I need to do to get it right.”
Bolt will grace the track at the Olympic Stadium in Rio for the first time on Saturday in the men’s 100m preliminary heats.