DAEGU, South Korea (Reuters) - Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, predicted Saturday he would retain his world 100 meters title in Daegu, South Korea, easily this month provided he gets a decent start.
“If I get a good start...it won’t be a problem for me,” the lanky Jamaican told Reuters in an interview on the eve of his 25th birthday. “I think I will win with ease. When I get into my running stride I don’t think anybody can match it, no matter my shape.”
The 100 meters preliminaries take place on the first day of the championships on August 27 with the final on the following day. Bolt, whose 2010 season was curtailed because of injury, starts his 200 meters title defense on Sept 3.
Bolt said his primary aim was to defend his titles.
“There won’t be any records here,” added Bolt who smashed the world marks in the 100 and 200 at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and again at the world championships in Berlin in the following year.
“Just to defend my titles, that is the main aim for me.
“A lot of people will be wanting a fast time so I think 9.7 (seconds) should be good,” he said of the 100 meters.
Bolt’s team mate Asafa Powell is the fastest man this year, clocking 9.78 seconds in Lausanne in June. His time is a tenth of a second quicker than anything the world record holder has managed this season.
“The injury kind of threw me off a lot,” said Bolt. “I really couldn’t push myself early season because you have to take it slowly. You can’t really rush back into it.”
Bolt said his biggest problem was his start.
“It was like starting over for me for the start,” the Jamaican said. “It’s hard to run when you are race rusty so to me it is just getting back into running.”
Bolt, speaking after showing off his new gold, black and green Jamaican-colored running spikes to a group of women dressed in traditional Korean costume, said his training was going well and we was ready to run.
“When I came here I felt that emotion,” he said. “When I saw people cheering for me in the airport I could feel that championship vibe coming on.”
Editing by John Mehaffey