‘Showman’ Bolt eyes maiden Oslo 200m

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‘Showman’ Bolt eyes maiden Oslo 200m

OSLO - Usain Bolt, the two-time world and Olympic sprint champion, makes his Norwegian bow at Thursday’s Bislett Games, appearing in a 200 meter sprint for the first time this season.

The 24-year-old Jamaican, who set a world record time of 19.19 seconds when winning the 200 meters at the 2009 worlds in Berlin, has enjoyed a successful run over 100 meters so far this year.

He won the Rome leg of the Diamond League (9.93 seconds) and the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava (9.91 seconds), notably beating in-form compatriot Steve Mullings in the process.

“I’m here for the first time. I don’t know a lot about this country,” Bolt said on touching down in Oslo ahead of Thursday’s meet. “I’ve heard that the track is very fast in Oslo but I do not know it. Until now, I’ve never run here.”

Bolt acknowledged that his aim this year was to defend his world titles in the 100 meter, 200 meter and 4x100 meter at the Aug. 27-Sept. 4 World Athletics Championships in Daegu, admitting that results up until then also did not count for much.

“I’m focused on the worlds, it doesn’t matter if I lose all other events before that competition,” he said. “I’m still a showman and not serious.” Bolt added he was not concerned by forecasts of overcast weather and possibly rain on Thursday. “I’m not worried about the rain,” he said. “I did some good races in adverse weather conditions.”

The meet also features a high-class field in the women’s 800 meters, with world champion Caster Semenya of South Africa, back in competition after a controversy over her gender, facing a tough outing.

The two-lap event’s field includes former world champion and Olympic silver medalist Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya, world indoor and European outdoor champion Mariya Savinova of Russia and Britain’s Jenny Meadows, who won the world championship bronze behind Semenya and Jepkosgei in 2009.

“It wasn’t easy to come back after the IAAF ban but this was the goal,” Semenya admitted, speaking of her 11-month suspension while tests were carried out on her gender.

The race on Thursday will be Semenya’s third of the season: she won an IAAF Challenge event in Dakar, Senegal, and then finished second at the Diamond League race in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday.

“In Oslo, I want to remain below 1:58, maybe 1:57, but everything happens with an eye on the World Championships in South Korea,” said Semenya, who clocked 1:58.88 in Eugene, which made her second fastest in the world this year. “At the Bislett Games, the time is very important, probably more important than first place.”

Other events include the men’s “Dream Mile” featuring a host of top-notch African runners.


한글 관련 기사 [일간스포츠]
남자 200m도 우사인 볼트 유력

남자 200m는 ‘인간탄환’ 우사인 볼트(25·자메이카)의 2연패가 유력하다. 아사파 파웰(자메이카)· 타이슨 게이(미국)· 크리스토프 르메트르(프랑스) 등의 라이벌이 즐비한 100m와 달리 200m에서는 볼트의 독주를 견제할 대항마가 보이지 않는다.

1996년 애틀랜타 올림픽에서 마이클 존슨(미국)이 세계신기록(19초32)을 세운 뒤 10년 넘도록 깨지지 않던 200m기록은 우사인 볼트가 나타난 이래 그의 손에 의해 좌지우지됐다. 볼트는 2008년 베이징올림픽에서 19초30으로 존슨의 세계기록을 12년 만에 깨트렸고 2009 베를린 세계육상선수권대회에서는 기존 기록을 무려 0.11초(19초19)나 앞당기면서 세계선수권대회 사상 처음으로 100m· 200m를 동시 석권하는 기염을 토했다.

현재까지 200m에서 볼트를 견제할만한 성적을 가지고 있는 선수는 없다. 올해 세계 최고 기록(19초95)은 니켈 애시미드(자메이카)가 보유하고 있지만 볼트의 세계신기록과는 많은 차이를 보이고 있다. 그나마 지난해 7월 미국에서 열린 다이아몬드리그 프리폰테인 클래식에서 우승을 차지한 월터 딕스(미국· 19.72)와 요한 블레이크(자메이카·19.78) 정도가 볼트의 아성에 도전할 만한 2인자들로 분류되고 있다.

1983년부터 12번 치러진 세계선수권대회에서 100m와 200m 두 부문을 모두 휩쓴 경우는 지난 대회 볼트가 유일하다. 아킬레스건 부상과 허리 통증으로 장기 휴식(9개월)을 취한 뒤 지난 5월 복귀전에서 녹슬지 않은 기량으로 우승을 차지한 볼트. 정상적인 몸 컨디션만 유지한다면 2개 대회 연속 2관왕이라는 금자탑이 머지않아 눈에 보인다.
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