By Gary Smith and Symone Goss, World-Track
PARIS — Usain Bolt steps into every competition with the mentality of being a champion and such a desire has propelled him into the world beater he is these days.
The Jamaican phenomenon, however, made it clear that at no point in time he is ever over-confident about his own talent and praised his coach Glen Mills for such a guidance.
“I’m not too confident,” Bolt said. “I have a coach who won’t let that happen. He’ll always be on top of me, working me hard, pushing me and reminding me to keep an eye on myself.”
Bolt added that his antics and showboating last season, especially at the Beijing Olympic Games had some classifying him a joker, but after repeating those achievements at the World Championships in Berlin last month, the Jamaican ace says he now proves his point.
“I have a lot of energy and I like to show it,” he said.
“Last year I was a joker, but I showed people that this was no joke here,” he added.
Bolt has used his un-measured talent to bring life back into a sport that occasionally became boring, even to those involved.
The once 200metres speciallist elevated the level of sprinting in his very first season at running the 100m and 200m double.
In Beijing he won three gold medals with three world records and then promised to put on another show the following year.
And that he did in the Berlin when he dethroned American speedster Tyson Gay of his sprint double titles.
Bolt first blasted to an unbelievable 9.58seconds over the 100m and then returned on fatigued legs to shatter his 200m world record with a stunning 19.19seconds, performances no one described better than the legend Steve Cram during his commentary for BBC Television.
“I can’t believe it,” he said. “A fantastic five (from the three records in Beijing and then the 100m & 200m in Berlin). Five gold medals, five world records.
“19.20, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Cram said, prior to checking the revised time. “You know what it’s not 19.20 it’s 19.19 and maybe he can’t believe this.”
The new king of sprinting completed another fine major outing with a gold medal in the 4x100m relay. The Jamaicans did not break their 37.10secs world record from Beijing, but the 37.32secs they ran in Berlin was the second fastest ever in the event.
Bolt’s performances has already placed him firmly on the list of track and field legends, but he was not too keen on putting himself there just yet.
“I am not there yet,” he said. “Year after year, I have to become a champion again and again. I’m getting to be a legend. I don’t consider myself a legend yet.”
American sprint legend Michael Johnson said earlier this year that if Bolt remains healthy then there is no one that is capable of challenging him at major championships.
But former world record holder Asafa Powell doesn’t see it that way, as still believes he his capable of matching his fellow countryman. Gay, another keen rival of Bolt is also of the view that he can run well into the 9.5seconds boundaries and said he will be even stronger and faster next season.
Johnson, however, feels there is no stopping this man at the majors
“The prospect of major titles at 100m for anyone apart from Bolt in the foreseeable future is zero as long as he stays uninjured,” said Johnson after he was left speechless when watching Bolt’s 9.58 record run.
“The thing for me is not just “How great is Usain Bolt?” We know the answer to that one. For me, it’s more about a new way of thinking about the 100m at the top level for the next few years.”