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Thursday, June 14, 2012

OLYMPIC NOTEBOOK

Bolt hungry to take star to new level during Olympics


Staff writer

Has anyone, anywhere, had a greater love of the camera than Usain Bolt? Maybe Marilyn Monroe.

News photo
I am legend: Usain Bolt has no plans to rest on his laurels in London. AFP-JIJI

The Jamaican sprinter's showman antics have captured our attention like few others, and it's possible he's just warming up.

Really.

Bolt's 9.79 seconds in the 100 meters at the Diamond League meet in Oslo last Thursday didn't hurt, either.

It was a reminder that he's ready to don the red cape and reprise his role as Superman in a few weeks at the London Olympics.

In a recent interview with Rob Harris of The Associated Press, the 25-year-old revealed his desire for Olympic glory is as strong, if not stronger, than it was in Beijing.

"You have to look at it seriously," Bolt told AP. "I have a goal. I want to be a legend. And this Olympics, I think, will be the one to make it (so) because it's in London, it's central, it's where everyone is watching."

To achieve his goal, Bolt has adopted a strict lifestyle change: bedtime is 11 p.m.

"I try not to sleep in the days, I really try to stay up because that's the problem," he told AP. "Normally when I felt I want sleep I just go to sleep in the middle of the day, and when the night comes I'm wide awake."

He added: "So now I try to stay awake — wide awake — until probably 11, have a shower and just go to bed."

In related news, Bolt, it appears, is very lucky. Kingston police said he was involved in a car accident around 5 a.m. on Sunday. Bolt, who was driving his black BMW, "was returning from a party with friends in the early hours Sunday when he was involved in a 'fender bender,' " AP reported.

Bolt realizes, of course, that his world records in the 100 (9.58 seconds) and 200 (19.19) from the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Berlin are almost viewed like ancient history. There are even greater expectations for him.

"Everybody wants 9.4," Bolt told AP. "I heard people talking about running 18 (in the 200). So for me, the key is just to take my time, work my way up. . . . So hopefully when I get to 100 percent those times could be possible."

Amazing streak: On a busy sports weekend that included a Manny Pacquiao title bout in Las Vegas, NBA and NHL playoff action, the French Open, the Belmont Stakes, World Cup soccer qualifiers and the start of Euro 2012, interleague baseball in Japan and the United States, it was business as usual for hammer thrower Koji Murofushi, who picked up his 18th consecutive title at the National Athletics Championships in Osaka.

In the 37-year-old's first competition of 2012, his winning toss was 72.85 meters at Nagai Stadium. By comparison, he won the world title last summer with a throw of 81.24 meters in Daegu, South Korea.

Did you know?: Slightly different starting blocks are in use this year, having already been tested at Diamond League races. The starting blocks are for the 100-, 200-, 400-, 4x100- and 4x400-meter races, as well as the 100, 110 and 400 hurdles events.

Here's how the IAAF explains the change in an AFP-JIJI article:

"The starting blocks haven't been shortened. Also, the width of the foot rest has increased from 120 mm to 160 mm to allow different starting positions and the height has not been adjusted — it remains at 270 mm as in the previously-used version."

Miscellany: YouTube will air 2,200 hours of live coverage during the Olympics in 64 Asian and African nations for free. This will be from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. (London Time) each day in English on 10 live feeds and a 24-hour Olympic news channel. Japan is not one of the nations. The 64 nations, including Ethiopia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, have not purchased IOC broadcasting rights. Smart phone and online users can access the Olympic coverage. . . .

Keisuke Ushiro is set to become the first Japanese decathlete to compete at the Olympics since the 1964 Tokyo Games.

Training overseas: Japan's female Olympic marathon squad — Risa Shigetomo, Ryoko Kizaki, Yoshimi Ozaki and substitute Yukiko Akaba — began a high-altitude training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona, on Thursday. The camp runs through July 1.



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