Usain Bolt at the IAAF/BTC World Relays, Bahamas 2015 press conference (© Getty Images)
Much of the attention at the IAAF/BTC World Relays, Bahamas 2015 this weekend (2-3) will be on the Jamaican superstar sprinter Usain Bolt, and the reigning world and Olympic 100m and 200m champion was joined by The Bahamas’s Chris Brown and Great Britain’s Richard Kilty at the traditional pre-event press conference on Friday (1).
Below are the edited highlights of the question-and-answer session with the three men.
Usain Bolt (JAM)
Q: What do you have in store for the weekend?
A: I’ve been training really hard and putting in the work. I enjoy the relays, I’ve been looking forward to this. Track and field is an individual sport so any time I can run a relay, that’s always fun. It’s very relaxing, and I know me and my team mates are going to put on a great show. We lost against the US at the Penn Relays so it’s now like a showdown.
Q: If the opportunity arose and you were offered a spot in the 4x400m at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, would you accept it?
A: Definitely not this year. I’m focused on defending my titles and I think, for me, a 4x400m would be too much. I’ll pass on that one.
Q: The Bahamians nicknamed you ‘Lightning Bolt’ after your performances at the 2002 Carifta Games; do you feel at home here?
A: You guys keep reminding me that you were the ones that named me that! It’s always great to compete in front of a Caribbean crowd, whenever I compete anywhere in the Caribbean it’s like being at home. I get so much love. It’s going to be great to compete here, I’m sure the crowds will be crazy.
Q: Can you get to the level again that took you to world record performances?
A: I can definitely get to that level again. I think the more I run, the better I’ll feel. The more races I get, I know I’ll get better. For me, I’m not worried about this season.
I know I’ve got three or four months to go before the championships, I’m always focused on championships and never worried about one-off runs as those are stepping stones to the big goal. I’m just going to try to get through the season injury free, I’m just going to take my time and work my way to the goal and I’ll be alright.
Chris Brown (BAH)
Q: What was the legacy that was left in The Bahamas after last year’s IAAF World Relays?
A: Last year, we lost to the US at home so this year we are definitely looking to win. The Bahamian public was amazed by what they saw, the event was a success so we hope to be able to host more events like this.
Q: It’s no secret that you are closer to 40 than 30, so can we expect you still to be going strong next year with the Olympics in Rio coming up?
A: That’s a good question! In The Bahamas we have a saying that age ain’t nothing but a number. I’m just taking it day by day but I’m looking forward to next year, however I’ll just take my time this year and see how it plays out.
Richard Kilty (GBR)
Q: Your success indoors, having won the world and European 60m title, must have raised your expectations.
A: It’s been a pretty successful two years, I’ve made a big breakthrough over 60m and in the relays but I’ve now linked up with Linford Christie and we are looking at trying to have some success outdoors over 100m and 200m, that’s the main focus for me now.
Q: How do you rate Britain’s prospects in the 4x100m here against the USA and the Caribbean countries?
A: Last year we ran sub-38 seconds twice and if we can run that sort of a time here then we can definitely push for a podium finish. The Jamaicans and Americans have got really strong teams but we are still pretty confident that we can go out there and get a podium finish again (Great Britain finished third in last year’s IAAF World Relays 4x100m).
Q: The top eight 4x100m teams from here qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and we remember Great Britain winning the 2004 Olympic gold medal; can you repeat that success in Rio?
A: If we put out our strongest team, I think we can get up there and challenge. We have some of the guys from 2004 working with us and they are always telling us things that can help.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF