Usain Bolt says sleep is perfect cure for early season slump
Usain Bolt gave the blearly-eyed among us a big boost by claiming all he needs to get over his early season slump is a bit more sleep.
The Jamaican pace ace is looking to retain his Olympic gold medals at 100m and 200m in London this summer, but hardly looked like the man likely to break the 9.5 second barrier as he laboured to victory in Ostrava at the weekend.
The world record holder ran a disappointing 10.04 in the Czech Republic, but isn’t worried as he heads into Olympics mode - the London Games is set to start in only eight weeks’ time.
That’s because he knows what he has to do to run faster than anyone has ever done before and grab another gold: get more shut-eye.
“I explained to my coach [Glen Mills] that my legs were not feeling that energetic, probably through a lack of sleep and not enough food,” the 25-year-old said.
“Since I got [to Europe] I’ve been trying to get a lot more sleep and eating better so everything is seeming to be on a better track.”
Bolt grabbed the headlines at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as much for his liking of power naps and McDonalds chicken McNuggets as for his gold medals and world record-setting exploits. So a remedy for a poor performance of more time dozing in bed shouldn’t come as a huge shock. And as for any worries some people may think he has that this is an Olympic year - he rarely runs slower than 9.90 - he shrugged them off.
“I never stress over things like this,” Bolt said. “I’ve gone through so much. Even if I lose every race leading up to the Olympics it won’t worry me. I’m confident in myself.
“You never have a good race every time you run. “You have to just put that behind you and move on. It’s not a worry. I have a lot more races and the main one is at the Olympics.
“I have set a high standard for myself so I know people like to see me run fast.
“I can’t look at it as pressure. People expect you to do certain things - I know I will have my bad races but I have to stay strong and focused.”
Bolt ran a blistering 9.58 to set the world record at the World Championships in Berlin back in 2009. Many feel he has the ability to become the first man to run under 9.50, but there’s little doubt he’ll need to vastly improve on his run in Ostrava.
FORMER CHAMP TOLD TO SHUT IT
Justin Gatlin has been warned to get real about his chances of Olympic glory this summer. The 2004 gold medallist is back on the track and running fast after completing his ban for drug taking. And, confident as ever, Gatlin has been making noises about beating Usain Bolt. The 30-year-old said: “[We] have watched the Bolt show for a couple of years and they want to see someone else in the mix as well. I’m glad to come up and step up and take charge with that.”
When golden boy Bolt heard the comments he just laughed and replied: “I don’t want to sound rude or anything, but I think Gatlin had his chance. That’s a funny thing he said.” He added: “You can’t count out Tyson Gay, and Yohan Blake is back. I think [Gatlin] has a few guys to get past before he worries about me.”