| MUMBAI, July 6
MUMBAI, July 6 Usain Bolt has all the tools to
be a top-class long jumper but the Jamaican should wait until
after the 2012 Olympics to give the event a go, world record
holder Mike Powell has told Reuters.
Sprinter Bolt won gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4x100
metres relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and has said he was
considering the long jump and 400 metres.
Powell, who broke Bob Beamon's 23-year world record at the
1991 World Championships in Tokyo, said he recognised Bolt's
long jump potential in 2009.
"I first talked to his coach and his parents in Berlin after
the 2009 world championships when we were staying in the same
hotel," Powell told Reuters in a recent interview.
"I approached them and I said, 'he should long jump'. They
said, 'you know we are talking about that'. I said I would like
to be involved with that."
Powell said his own world record of 8.95 metres could be in
jeopardy if Bolt started jumping.
"He could jump so far that it will be crazy. The main
elements in long jump are speed and height, which equals
distance. He's got them both," said Powell.
"He will need the coaching and then the will and desire and
bravery to try it. If he does it, everyone will expect him to
break the record."
The 47-year-old American said the event would take its toll
on Bolt's body if he started before the London Olympics.
"I know for him if he starts to long jump it's gonna take
away from his sprinting.
"He is still very young. It takes a lot of wear and tear on
your body. It hurts your back, your knees, your ankles,
everything. It's very difficult.
"Even under the best circumstances, it will take some away
from his sprinting."
Powell was in India as an ambassador for the International
Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which signed a
10-year licensing deal with real estate company Nirmal Lifestyle
to develop infrastructure for athletics in the country.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford; to query or comment on this
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