How important is it that Bolt wins tonight?
Tonight the six time Olympic Champion Usain Bolt will hope to calm any fears that he’s entering the World Championships in the poorest form of his career.
Bolt will run tonight in the 200m at the Oslo, Diamond League meet. The Jamaican feels he can run under 20 seconds, despite suffering with a hamstring injury but insists he is fit. ‘I’m in shape to run under 20 seconds. I’m feeling wonderful. If I execute right, I’ll get a fast time’, he said.
But after losing to American, Justin Gatlin in the 100m in Rome last week, the pressure is on to prove the champion isn’t showing any signs of easing up. Pressure? Bolt doesn’t do pressure. The Sprinter has shown in the past that he’s at his most dangerous when he’s being doubted. After famously false starting in the 100m World Championships in Degu, 2011 many questioned if the pressure of the London Olympics would be too much to bear. Well we all know what happened there.
So how important is it that Bolt doesn’t lose tonight? Well, fear of an opponent plays a role in competitive sport and Bolt definitely has that over many of his rivals. Would losing twice in two weeks nibble away at the aura? Doubtful. Form is important in sport, especially in Athletics. However the Jamaican isn’t a form athlete. He doesn’t have to enter this summer’s World Championships in Moscow in form to win the 100m and 200m. It’s actually more worrying for his competitors when he approaches the major tournaments in poor form. Like a true champion he turns up when it really matters.
The 26 year old has admitted that he was struggling to stay motivated after a record breaking year in 2012. But concerned about losing to his American rival again? ‘It’s just one of those things – you win some, you lose some.’ Usain Bolt doesn’t do concerned either. He concerns others.