Bolt says 'ready to go' at Games

Jamaican track star Usain Bolt Thursday said he was over his recent problems and "ready to go" for the London Olympics -- but added he wouldn't be devastated if he lost.

"I'm always ready," said the reigning 100m and 200m title-holder. "It's all about championships. I've had slight problems, but I'm ready to go."

Fitness concerns, an early morning car crash and losing both the 100m and 200m to training partner and compatriot Yohan Blake at the Jamaican Olympic trials raised serious doubts about Bolt's ability to defend his titles.

But Bolt, speaking at his first pre-Olympic press conference alongside fellow sprinter Asafa Powell, said: "I'm going to focus on going out there to win.

"My back was a little stiff and it affected my hamstring but I'm over that. I've been training for the past two-and-a-half weeks and everything is all right."

However, the 25-year-old said he had not yet decided whether he would run the 4x100m relay, which he also won with Jamaica in 2008. And he admitted he had contemplated defeat in the individual sprints.

"I don't think it will be the end of the world if I lose," said Bolt.

"I would definitely be disappointed if I was second. Mentally though I am always strong. I have a great team around me who keep me on track."

Bolt refused to pick out any one sprinter as his main rival, saying: "Who is the danger man? Not one specific one but the seven men in the blocks.

"There is one great moment, there is never one single person."

He also played down rumours of an increasingly bitter rivalry between him and fast-rising training partner Blake, the 100m world champion who is also coached by Glen Mills.

"People were saying I was training early in the morning and Blake in the evening, but that's not true," Bolt said.

"We do everything or nearly everything (together). Training hasn't changed, only the atmosphere at competition."

Bolt received an extra boost when Jamaica Olympic Association president Mike Fennell named him as the country's flag-bearer for Friday's opening ceremony.

"It's an honour to carry the flag for my country. I would do anything for my country," said Bolt. "It's great being the flag-bearer as you are the centre of attention and on TV!"

Bolt, one of global sport's most marketable personalities, transformed the world of athletics when he scorched to victory in both sprint events at the Beijing Games in 2008 in then-world record times.

He then bettered his Olympic form at the 2009 Berlin worlds, setting current world records in the 100m and 200m of 9.58 and 19.19sec.

Bolt defended his world 200m title in Daegu last year but a false start in the final saw Blake claim victory in the 100m.

Bolt was also part of the 4x100m relay team that won gold in Beijing and Berlin, and then went on to set a new world record of 37.04sec in Daegu.

"My ultimate aim is to be a legend -- everyone knows it," he said. "I've learned not to worry about the start. Back in the day was never a good start. I am just focused on the race.

"I will definitely carry on if I achieve my goals here. I will just set myself new ones. It will definitely be less stressful for me, more relaxed."

Speaking of more immediate aims, Bolt said he had been working hard on his preferred 200m on the back of his first loss in the event in more than four years, to Blake at the trials.

"I have been doing a bit more work on the 200m and it's coming back to me," he said. "I've just got to go back to the days when I didn't worry about the start and solely focus on execution."

And he added that his participation in the 4x100m relay was not a done deal.

"I always see how I come out of the 200m before I decide, like if I'm tired etc. If I feel up to it, why not? For my country I would always do what is necessary."

Medal Count

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States 46 29 29 104
2 China 38 27 23 88
3 Great Britain 29 17 19 65
4 Russia 24 26 32 82
5 South Korea 13 8 7 28
6 Germany 11 19 14 44
7 France 11 11 12 34
86 Philippines 0 0 0 0

Olympic bits you must know

  • Russian Sensation Alexei Nemov

    Alexei Nemov is one of the most decorated athletes in Olympic history. The Russian gymnast’s haul of 12 medals is bettered only by six other … More »

  • Hero of Ukraine

    Yana Klochkova is a four-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine who dominated the women’s swimming individual medley events in the 2000 and 2004 … More »

  • Swimming's Comeback Kid

    American swimmer Pablo Morales earned the nickname “The Comeback Kid” after he defied age and skeptics to become the oldest Olympic swimming gold … More »

  • Track Star Marie-Jose Perec's Atlanta Double

    Marie-Jose Perec is a champion sprinter from France who won three Olympic gold medals in the 1990s. … More »

  • France's Champion Cyclist

    Felicia Ballanger of France was one of the best female cyclists in Olympic history and considered the best in the 1990s. During her career, she won … More »