(AP) Bolt plans to defend all 3 Olympic sprint titles
By GRAHAM DUNBAR
AP Sports Writer
What’s left for a man who has won three sprint titles at the last two Olympics?
Win all three again, of course.
Usain Bolt said Wednesday he is planning to defend his 100-, 200- and 4×100-meter relay golds at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.
Bolt will run in the 100 Thursday at the Weltklasse Diamond League meet. The Jamaican is coming off a world championship sweep of the sprints in Moscow, where he talked of working hard to attain “the greatness thing.”
Most would say he’s achieved that already with his triple at the Olympics in Beijing and London.
Bolt became the most decorated athlete in world championships history this month, with his career tally of eight golds and two silvers lifting him above Carl Lewis.
Three more golds for Bolt in Rio would still leave him trailing Lewis’ Olympic track and field record of nine golds and one silver.
Bolt’s news conference was held at FIFA headquarters, across the city from the stadium where he will run Thursday. He was greeted on arrival by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, and later accepted a blue FIFA soccer shirt bearing his name and the No. 9.
Blatter joked that nine seconds was probably the limit for Bolt, whose 100 world record set in 2009 stands at 9.58. Bolt suggested he was capable of running in the 9.70s at Weltklasse, where a warm, still evening is forecast.
He ran a season’s-best 9.77 in Moscow and rivals Thursday include worlds runner-up Justin Gatlin of the United States and bronze medalist Nesta Carter of Jamaica.
Though Bolt is the star attraction, the sold-out Letzigrund stadium will also focus on stellar fields for the men’s high jump and women’s 5,000.
Last month in Switzerland, Bohdan Bondarenko barely failed to clear 8-foot-0 3/4 at the Athletissima meeting in Lausanne, which would have lifted him above a cherished record in track and field.
Cuban great Javier Sotomayor’s 20-year-old mark of 8-0 1/2 survived another challenge by the Ukrainian when taking the world title in Moscow.
Ethiopian rivals Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba rarely race each other outside of major championships, yet the winners of the past three Olympic titles over 5,000 will compete over that distance in Zurich.
Magyar also accepted Caster Semenya of South Africa for the 800 after her coach, Maria Mutola, said the runner was healthy. Semenya missed the worlds because of injury.
Magyar also has a special send-off planned for retiring American long jump star Dwight Phillips. The 2004 Athens Olympics gold medalist and four-time world champion will compete in his final competition at age 35.