Jamaican Usain Bolt admits years of sprinting starting to take toll

Jamaican champion, who is looking forward to break, says staying injury-free is the goal

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 September, 2013, 2:56am

The main aim next season for world and Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt is to stay injury-free as years of dominating the 100 and 200 metres have begun to take their toll on the tall Jamaican's body.

"I remember going to my doctor and he told me I had to pay close attention to my back. I know I have to be more focused on staying in shape," the 27-year old said after the last Diamond League meeting of the year.

"The older you get the harder it is to come back from injury. I gotta stay injury-free during the season, that's the main factor," added Bolt who was dogged by a hamstring problem earlier this year.

The world record holder once again defeated his rivals over 100 metres in Brussels, but performed fewer of his trademark theatrics and, after overcoming a slow start to win in 9.80 seconds, conceded he was getting tired.

"I've been smiling ever since I came to the stadium because I knew it was the last one of the season. I'm just happy to be done and looking forward to going home to see my friends and extended family, and just to chill out," said Bolt, who will take a few weeks of holiday before beginning his training again in mid-October.

"It's the end of the season. I've got no worries. I'm totally relaxed now, I'll have some fun and put my feet up."

With no Olympics or world championships being held next year, Bolt has yet to make up his mind whether to participate at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

As a hard season, during which he won gold in the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay at the world championships in Moscow last month, came to a close, Bolt said he still loved being the centre of attention and the showman of athletics.

"I never get tired of this. This is what I do and I'm not trying to be someone I'm not. It's something I love to do. The crowd makes it easy," said Bolt, whose sole defeat of the season came over 100 metres at the Rome Diamond League meet at the hands of American Justin Gatlin - by one-hundreth of a second.

"It's all about the crowds. I love meetings that have great crowds. I give them energy, they give me back energy. It's all about putting on a great performance for them."

Reuters, Agence France-Presse