Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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Usain Bolt in London

USAIN BOLT

by Alastair Aitken

Usain Bolt (Born 21.08.86) from Jamaica talked to me in Croydon before he ran at Crystal Palace on the 26th of July, 2008.

     "For me, when I was at primary school, cricket was my sport and my Father took me to cricket when I was 6/7 and we would stay watching all day. When I was 9/10 I was a fast bowler and it was suggested I should give athletics a try and in my first race was on Sports Day at school and I won. In those days we were running 100 or 150 races."
   Usain Bolt showed fantastic talent early on. At only 15 years and 332 days of age he ran 20.58 for the 200m which was an age World best. He was also a World age record holder again at 16 and 17 years of age.
   Although he continued to run fast times every year his rate of progress was hampered a little bit at one stage. 'The period of adjustment was after I came out of High school. I got injured and the first two years was a kind of challenge. I had to build from scratch again. It was OK and good for me.'
   In 2008 Usain Bolt decided to run the 100m several times as well as his speciality the 200m and the consequence of that was he broke the 100m World record in New York on the 31st of May with 9.72. He had run 10.03 and 45.28 for the 400 as personal bests in 2007 (His pb for 200 was 19.75 in 2006).
   He said about 2008 'This season I would do the 100m more because I did so well last season. The training helped for that'
   It had been noted by me that for last few years the 200m, more than any other sprint, contained more World class sprinters.I am sure Bolt could achieve great things by moving up to 400m but like Tommie Smith and Henry Carr indicated to me, they all preferred the 200m because of all the 400 entails as far as training is concerned. 'I do think I could run quick and did so at high school but the training for it is a little too hard so I just put it down'
   He added ' Maybe in the future I may do it but now I am training and concentrating on the sprints.'
   Which event was his favourite.The 100/200/400 and unsurprisingly he came back with ' Definitely the 200. It is always my favourite event.'
   Which of the 'Great' 200 men did he most admire
   'Definitely Don Quarrie., I have watched him in a couple of races and he is brilliant at cornering, very smooth and Michael Johnson is another I admire'
   How long did he feel he would like to compete at top level then
            'A couple more years in the Game'

Alastair Aitken

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