BRUSSELS — Usain Bolt has made breaking his 200-meter world record the target for 2014 and reiterated his plan to retire after the 2016 Rio Games having achieved the unthinkable hat-trick of Olympic sprint doubles
“As long as I stay injury free next season, you’ll see me attempting a few times to try to break some records,” Bolt told reporters in Brussels ahead of Friday’s season finale Diamond League event, where he will race the 100M in a rematch with American Justin Gatlin, who he beat into second place in last month’s world championship final. “It’s definitely on my mind.
“The 100 meters (world record) is going to be the hardest to actually get because it’s a lot more technical. It’s going to be hard to get, but I think the 200 is there to really try to go faster because I’ve learned to master the art of running the turn,” he said.
The Jamaican became the most successful athlete in world championship history last month after another clean sweep of the 100/200m and 4x100m relay, and he wants to underline his superstar status by winning a third 100 and 200 meter double at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where a third relay gold would be the icing on the cake.
His existing 100 and 200 meter records of 9.58 and 19.19 seconds both date back four years to the world championships in Berlin.
He reasoned that next season, without a world championships or Olympics, might be best to go for the record, because he could focus on running fast rather than seeking to peak for a particular event.
“So far, it’s after the Olympics. I think if I’m in great shape and go there and do what I have to do I think it would be a good time to retire, on top and being dominating for so long,” he said.
Bolt said retirement would probably mean “a lot of laying around” and possibly a trip around Europe to see sights beyond airports, hotels and stadiums and said he had half an eye on that after struggling for motivation at the start of this season.
“I couldn’t find that goal that drive to get going again, but I sat down and really thought to myself what do I really want and what can I do in this sport some more,” he said. “I made up my mind if I wanted to be among the greatest, like Ali, Pele and these guys I have to continue dominating until I retire.”