August 27, 2008 / 1:42 PM / 11 years ago

Bolt could have run 9.52 in Olympics, coach says

ZURICH (Reuters) - Triple Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Usain Bolt could have run the 100 meters in 9.52 seconds if he had not slowed to celebrate, his coach said on Wednesday.

Olympic gold medallist and 100m world record holder, Usain Bolt of Jamaica listens to media during a news conference in Zurich August 27, 2008, ahead of the IAAF Golden League athletics meeting on Friday. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

Glen Mills said Bolt, who electrified Beijing with his sprint victories, was at the start of his 100 career and would peak only in about two years’ time.

“If he had continued, the slowest he would have run would have been 9.52,” Mills told reporters ahead of Friday’s Weltklasse athletics meeting in Zurich, where Bolt is due to run the 100.

“This is his first year of running the 100 meters,” Mills said. “In two more years he should be peaking at this distance and by then I am certain he will be down to there.”

Bolt set a world record of 9.69 seconds in the 100, and was so far ahead of the field that he slowed before the end to celebrate.

Bolt then broke Michael Johnson’s 12-year-old mark in the 200 and added a third gold by contributing to a world record for Jamaica in the 4x100 relay.

On Friday, Bolt will face the two men who won medals behind him in the Beijing 100, Richard Thompson of Trinidad & Tobago and American Walter Dix.

Other Beijing winners on show in Zurich include women’s pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva and Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, who won the men’s 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

“I’ve had some sleep since I’ve been here so I’m not tired. I’m trying to get my blood pumping again,” Bolt said.

He declined to speculate on what time he might run on Friday.

“I don’t think you can really set another goal after doing that at the Olympics,” said Bolt, who turned 22 the day after his 200 Beijing win. “I’m just trying to get to the end of the season, injury free, and go home and enjoy myself.”

Editing by Clare Fallon

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