Jamaica's Usain Bolt sprints past doping questions
Updated: 2015-08-21 07:38
By Tym Glaser(China Daily)
Usain Bolt addresses a news conference in Beijing on Thursday. WANG ZHAO / AFP
The world's fastest man also boasts a neat sidestep.
Usain Bolt, the 28-year-old sprint great from Jamaica, artfully dodged questions about doping in track and field and his rivalry with twice-suspended US runner Justin Gatlin during a meeting with a select band of journalists in Beijing on Thursday.
Bolt dashed to worldwide fame at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games by claiming the 100-, 200 - and 4x100-meter titles, a feat he repeated in London four years later. Toss in eight world championship golds and he is moving along quite nicely.
But the gilded star was not about to be put off his stride as he prepares to defend his sprint crowns at the Bird's Nest in Beijing.
At least three of his most dangerous rivals in the 100-and 200-meter events - Gatlin, fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay of the US - have tested positive for banned substances, but Bolt is simply focused on the main show and not the sideshow.
"For me, it is what it is," he said of the doping controversy swirling around athletics. "I try not to focus too much on that. I am just here to do a job. I just have a responsibility to myself to make sure nothing goes wrong."
Archrival Gatlin, 33, has the four fastest times this year in the 100-meter event, but that also doesn't concern the seemingly unflappable Bolt, who has barely raced this year due to nagging injuries.
"He (Gatlin) showed the signs last season he was getting near to running faster. He got through that season without injury and that is always good to lead into another season. I am definitely not surprised."
In the sprints, it basically boils down to the large North American nation and the little Caribbean island to its south, and there is little love lost between the two.
"It's just a rivalry, I think," Bolt said. "Over the years it's all about the people. Sometimes some Jamaicans may not get along with some Americans. It's just a rivalry that's been going on for years and I am sure when we retire it will continue."
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