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Usain Bolt looking to impress at Paris meet

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-17

100m and 200m world record holder, Usain Bolt, will continue his preparations for the World Championships at the Paris Golden League meeting Friday. Bolt said in an interview that "everything was possible". Is another world record set to be broken?

AFP - Usain Bolt will use his outing at the fourth meeting of the Golden League series to finetune preparations for an assault on next month's World Athletics Championships.

The Jamaican took the Beijing Olympics by storm, setting world records en route to victory in the 100 and 200m, as well as being part of his country's gold medal-winning 4x100m relay team.

But he was beaten into silver in the 200m in the 2007 world championships in Osaka by triple world champion Tyson Gay of the United States, who will not be competing at the Stade de France.

Bolt will be keen to set down a marker after some storming performances by Gay, whose Olympic adventure was disastrous after a comeback from injury.

But Gay has set the two leading times of the season over 100m, notably a 9.77sec into a headwind in Rome, the fourth fastest time ever run over the blue riband event.

"Everything is possible," said Bolt, who on July 7 recorded the fourth fastest time in history in the 200m of 19.59sec. "If it's fine weather, I can manage a quick time. I never run just for laughs.

"I'm maybe at about 85 percent," he told L'Equipe newspaper. "I won't be at 100 percent before Berlin. I've still got some work to do on the 200 and 100m.

"I've been working on my starts. In training it's going well but when it comes to competition time, I try to anticipate the orders too much."

There might not be a showdown with Gay or Jamaican compatriot Asafa Powell on Friday, but a strong field includes Churandy Martina of the Dutch Antilles, Trinidadian duo Richard Thompson and Marc Burns, and veteran St Kitts and Nevis sprinter Kim Collins.

Bolt, however, is not in the running for the one-million-dollar Golden League jackpot for the athlete who wins all six races in their discipline throughout the season.

Of the five men's events (100m, 400m, 3000m/5000m, 110m Hurdles, Javelin Throw) and the five women's (100m, 400m, 100m Hurdles, High Jump, Pole Vault), there are just four jackpot contenders.

Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia has notched up three wins over the 5,000m, while Jamaican Kerron Stewart remains unbeaten in the women's 100m.

American Sanya Richards looks comfortable in the women's 400m while Yelena Isinbayeva is so dominant in the pole vault that it will take a serious upset or injury to derail the Russian, who shared the 2007 jackpot with Richards.

In the men's pole vault, local hopes will rest with rising star Renaud Lavillenie, who has set a season's best of 6.01 metres, considerably more than the field he'll be up against.

Three high-profile late withdrawals have, however, taken the shine off some events.

Ariane Friedrich has pulled out of the women's high jump in which she would have resumed her rivalry with Croatian Blanka Vlasic, the German having come out on top in their first head-to-head outdoors in Berlin.

Richards will miss competition from nemesis Christine Ohuruogu of Britain, who produced an amazing finish to snatch Olympic gold in Beijing from the American.

And Olympic champion Dayron Robles will miss the men's 110m hurdles as he struggles with a nasty bout of flu.

Date created : 2009-07-17

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