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Page last updated at 11:05 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 12:05 UK

Bolt switches focus to relay gold

Venue: Olympic Stadium, Berlin Date: 15-23 August
Coverage: Watch the action live and highlights on BBC Two, BBC HD, Red Button, Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website (video for UK users only)
Full BBC coverage details

Replay - Lightning Bolt smashes 200m record

Usain Bolt is targeting a repeat of his heroics at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by completing a sprint treble at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin.

Bolt, 23, has already won the 100m and 200m in world record times and now turns his focus to the 4x100m relay.

"Last year the Jamaican girls were favourites to win and messed up the baton change," said the Jamaican.

"I'm just hoping we get the baton round and win so I can get three gold medals and go home smiling."

Bolt has set the World Championships alight with his displays in the Olympic Stadium, which have seen him become the first man to hold the 100 and 200m World and Olympic titles at the same time.

"Usain Bolt is a national treasure," Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding told BBC Sport. "He is someone who has brought so much fame and so much pride to the people of Jamaica.


"I can assure you the people of Jamaica will get a chance to welcome home their hero.

"There is no honour that would be too great to give Usain Bolt right now. That's something we will consider but the greatest honour he has earned is the love of the Jamaican people.

"He has uplifted their spirits at a time when their spirits needed a lift and he has brought so much joy and pride to the people of Jamaica."

Bolt ran 9.58 seconds to take 0.11 off his own 100m record on Sunday and then 19.19 seconds to demolish the previous 200m mark of 19.30.

Having proved himself to be the fastest man on earth over both distances, attention has now turned to whether Bolt might race over 400m in the future.

The 19.30 he ran for the 200m in Beijing lowered Michael Johnson's mark of 19.32 but he played down suggestions he would also like to take on the American's record of 43.18 in the 400m.

"That still doesn't give me any motivation," said Bolt, who is expected to be rested for the 4x100m relay first-round heats on Friday. "I've got to work extra hard to run the 400m."

'Tired' Bolt may no longer double-up

However BBC Radio 5 live's athletics correspondent Mike Costello explained that many experts in Jamaica felt Bolt was best suited to 200m and 400m running as a youngster.

"He's got great form as a junior over 400m and should he at some stage in the next four or five years decide to switch up then he'll be a real threat," said Costello.

Bolt is, however, more open to the idea of lowering the 200m record even further.

"Anything is possible. I doubt people thought I would run 19.19 and I didn't even think I would.

"When I saw the (19.30) record in Beijing I was saying, 'this is not possible'. I didn't know breaking Michael Johnson's record was possible - now I keep telling people anything is possible.

"My main aim is to become a legend - that's all I'm working on."

Bolt was keen to emphasise that all of his achievements have come without the influence of drugs.

He has taken 0.16 sec off the 100m record in just 15 months - previously the mark had been lowered by only 0.21secs by seven athletes over a 39-year period - and some continue to question whether or not he is clean.

"I keep telling people I'm clean," said Bolt. "I get tested all the time. I come out, I train hard and I'm always ready and focused.

"I'm not offended (by suspicion) because year after year people come out, run fast and test positive, so I know it's always going to be in the sport."

Great Britain sprinter Christian Malcolm, who competed against Bolt in the 200m final at last year's Olympics, said he was surprised by the Jamaican's scintillating run on Thursday but is tipping him to break the 19-second barrier.

Replay - Record-breaking Bolt wins 100m gold

"I was a bit shocked because from looking at the way he was running through the rounds I didn't think he was going to break the record," Malcolm told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Last night was the first time we've seen him get a little bit tired, a little bit fatigued towards the end and his technique started to falter a little bit.

"If it's a fit, healthy Usain Bolt, he can go under 19 seconds."

Bolt's success has capped a remarkable week for Jamaican athletics.

At the 11 previous World Championships, Jamaica had never won more than one gold medal per meet and in 2005 its runners failed to win a single final.

But in Berlin they have collected five golds, two silvers and two bronzes, with three days of action remaining.

"Jamaica is now ranked number one in the medal table and that's not bad for a country with a population around the same size as that of the west Midlands," said the BBC's Nick Davis in Kingston, Jamaica.

"The people here really do feel like they've got something to shout loudly about."

Bolt compared to previous 200m world record-holders, British best Regis and best women Griffith-Joiner
Bolt's new time compared to previous 200m world record-holders, British best Regis and best women Griffith-Joyner

see also
Awesome Bolt breaks 200m record
20 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Walker storms to 400m hurdle gold
20 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Bolt sets sights on 9.4 seconds
17 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Bolt sets record to win 100m gold
16 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Bolt claims 200m gold with record
20 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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