By Robert Taylor, Special to Trackalerts.Com
I wonder if the sub-19 seconds 200m barrier and the breaking of the 100m record is something to make the press and fan maintain interest or is Usain Bolt serious. He admitted his penchant for partying and drinking, so how would this behaviour affect his capability to break those records? I cannot say if Bolt has passed his prime; but the way he talked about his age he seems to believe he has. Again, the fact that Gatlin has shed some fat and is running faster than when he was on drugs is the probable impetus for Bolt’s line of reasoning.
Bolt alludes to being injury free and uninterrupted training throughout the season would go a long way in helping him break the records. Is this a possibility? That is the question to be answered. He has some form of injury or another in more seasons than not. His commitment to his sponsors is another situation that will affect the consistency of his training.
In addition, his penchant for partying and having a good time is another factor to overcome. Bolt can control his partying habits and improve his work ethic but how is he going to ignore the demands of sponsors. They will want prepared press conference, advertisement videos, and of course being their spokesman at opportune times. I am wondering and hoping at the same time that the recent world tour from Europe, to South America to Asia and more is a way to get the sponsorship commitment out of the way so he can have adequate preparation to pursue those goals along with championship gold medals.
With so many things in the way for that optimum preparation Bolt talks about, the other question should be, is sub-19 seconds possible? I for one will not question Bolt athletic potential or possibilities and the fact that he usually runs hard enough to win unless it is a major championship final. This tells me that there is a high probability that he has plenty left in his tank. Saying he can run times to surpass his 2009 Berlin world championship performances is easy but doing it is another matter.
Beijing 2015 World Championships and Brazil 2016 Olympics might be the ideal places for him. Both countries have hot tropical type weather that is ideal for sprinters. London 2012 was ok but not ideal weather and he ran 9.63 while Moscow 2013 was far from ideal condition, yet he ran 9.77, a time faster than the world best time of 2014. His 200m of 19.32 while easing down at London and Moscow saw his doing the same thing even more exaggerated with a time of 19.66.
With all the factors that can affect Bolt achievement of those lofty goals he talked about, it will take a perfect storm for him to meet those expectations. Think about it, he will have to get a break from his sponsors so that he can put in maximum training. He will have to develop discipline over a full training season he has never done before. He will definitely need the hot conditions he is accustomed to and what all sprinters like. Bolt will need the competition to push him since he has a history of running just fast enough to win; it was never as clear as Beijing 2008 100m finals where he ease down slap his chest before crossing the finish line. On the other hand, his 200m performance shows that he will run hard to get a record in a championship because he really ran hard to break that Michael Johnson 200m record.
After looking at all the variables for and against, I think Bolt possess the ability to break both of his records though that sub-19 seconds I question a bit. For this to happen all the stars have to align and synchronize. With so many things needed to happen, it will be easy to be pessimistic. Thus I will say the probability is there for him to achieve those lofty goals but I am more confident in him winning the championship finals than breaking the 100m and 200m record. Nevertheless, I am looking forward with some amount of anticipation to see if Bolt statement is something he is taking serious or it is something to keep the press and fans interested until 2015.
**The views expressed in this article are those of the author (Robert Taylor) and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, trackalerts.com.