Bolt looks past London in considering long jump

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Bolt looks past London in considering long jump

MIAMI - Jamaican triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt could compete in the long jump over 400 meters at the 2013 Moscow world championships, the sprinter told Reuters on Tuesday.

In a telephone interview from Jamaica, Bolt said he was aiming to emulate American Carl Lewis by successfully defending his Olympic 100-meters title at the 2012 London Games.

He said if he completed the 100-200 double again he would then look to try new events, some years earlier than he has previously indicated.

“My aim is to defend both of my titles; I have to focus on those first and then after London, I will decide if I will try either of those events,” said Bolt, who is resting at home after cutting his season short to recover from a back injury.

“I really think I will be a good long jumper, that’s what I think; I don’t know what my coach will think, maybe he’ll say try 400 meters.”

Bolt’s coach Glen Mills and many other Jamaicans have long felt that the man who smashed the 100- and 200-meters world records in Beijing two years ago would make an outstanding 400-meters runner.

“A lot of people think I will be a really good 400-meters runner, and if he says let’s try maybe I will try and see what happens. I will listen to my coach because he has been my inspiration throughout all these years,” Bolt said.

Bolt, who on Tuesday announced a new sponsorship deal with Puma, was more enthusiastic, however, when talking about the long jump.

As a school kid growing up in the parish of Trelawney on Jamaica’s northwest coast, Bolt first got a taste of the long jump, one of the many sporting activities, including cricket and football, that he took part in.

But it was a casual jump during a warm-up at an event in the Czech Republic two years ago that gave Bolt the taste for the event.

“I did long jump in [school] sports day but it wasn’t anything serious; I went to Ostrava one year and I tried it out and jumped quite a distance, in my tracksuit. I decided. I’d like to try this before retiring, at the end of my career,” he said.

Last year Mike Powell, holder of the world long jump record that he set in 1991, said Bolt could break that record of 8.95 meters.

In the more immediate future though, Bolt is focused on getting back in shape - he returns to training in Kingston on Oct. 4 - for next year’s world championships. Prior to taking his break, Bolt was beaten by American rival Tyson Gay in a Diamond League event in Stockholm and he is keen to avenge that loss next season.

“I never like to lose, but I knew that I wasn’t in the best of shape this season. I didn’t train as hard so it wasn’t something that impacted me that badly.

“But I know that it’s a loss. It makes the sport more exciting now because I know that the next time I and Tyson line up it is going to be really big clash and I am looking forward to it.

“Definitely it will [be a different story] - he knows that and I know that.”

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