WARSAW (Reuters) - Six-times Olympic champion Usain Bolt is hoping the roof will be closed when he runs his first-ever race in Poland at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial in Warsaw on Saturday.
The Jamaican world record holder will have his eyes on a special mark when he competes over 100 meters on a newly laid track at Warsaw’s National Stadium, which has a retractable roof.
“I’ve never run indoors, I was always too tall,” Bolt joked at a news conference on Wednesday. “When I heard there was going to be a roof, I was looking forward to that.”
If the roof is closed, the competition would count as an indoor event, a novelty itself for Bolt, but the new surface could call into question the legitimacy of any times set.
The towering Bolt, however, said, perhaps with his tongue placed firmly in his cheek, he is looking to challenge Namibian Frankie Fredericks’s unofficial indoor world record of 10.05 seconds set in 1996.
“If they treat it as an indoor world record it’ll be good for me,” said Bolt, who holds both 100 and 200m outdoor world records. “It’s always good to have more records.”
Even if it is unofficial.
Bolt has recently spoken of his plans to retire from athletics after the 2017 World Championships in London, where he won three Olympic golds medals two years ago.
As an avid Manchester United fan, who frequently attends the English Premier League club’s games and has even trained with the team, he has plans to try his hand at professional soccer once he leaves the track.
“I always watch football games and see a few players, and I won’t say any names, but I could do much better,” he said.
“So I want to try and see if I really could do it. Hopefully I get a chance.”
Reporting By Wiktor Szary, Writing By Sam Holden, Editing by Gene Cherry