The World Athletics Championship starts today for the first time since 2005 without Usain Bolt. The Jamaican is not even present as a spectator in Doha, but says that he does intend to attend the Games in a year. The world record holder on the 100m and 200m even considered making his comeback in Tokyo, he told the French sports newspaper l’Equipe.
Usain Bolt regularly posted films of intense training sessions with friends this year, as if he wanted to get back in shape. There was immediately a rumour that the 33-year-old Jamaican was planning to make his comeback. That’s not entirely true, although Bolt has thought about it for a while, he confesses today in l’Equipe. “I once sat down with my coach Glen Mills to talk about a comeback for the Tokyo Games,” says Bolt.
“It was no more than a loose talk. He told me I had to feel like it, and I answered that I would only do it if he said: ‘Come on Usain, let’s go’, because I’ve always had blind faith in him. If he had thought I’d be able to run 9.7, or even improve my record, I would have believed him. But he bounced the ball back… Only: I don’t think I have enough sense.” And he doesn’t have the right weight for it now either, he continues. “My competition weight is normally between 97 and 99 kilos (for 1m96). That has risen to 109 kilos. I thought, “Noooooo….” and I lost two. I hope to be able to stabilize it around 105.”
And the ex-athlete made another confession. When it comes to the case of Christian Coleman, the American sprinter who risked a suspension due to three missed doping checks in one year but escaped punishment due to procedural errors, Bolt says that during his career he also got two so-called dashes behind his name.
“Once because he broke the portal to my house and I thought it had already been repaired. A second time I forgot to adjust my whereabouts when I slept at my girlfriend’s house. You have to be attentive with that. The doping controllers must know where you are because we try to prove that we are innocent, also to help our sport. (…) It drove me crazy when I missed one, I blamed myself, I knew I had messed up and we made it alert. Then it’s a bit shocking to hear that you can miss three in a year.”
By the way, he does name Christian Coleman as the winner for the 100m, the series of which are scheduled for today in Doha, and the American Noah Lyles for the 200m.