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Rome – The real Usain Bolt will make a return appearance at Rome's Diamond League meeting on Thursday, according to the Jamaican sprinter who got tongues wagging last week when he failed to break 10 seconds over 100 metres in Ostrava.
The Olympic champion complained of having no energy when he clocked 10.04 seconds in the Czech Republic on Friday, the slowest time he had run in 30 finals over the distance.
However, he believes his speed is returning as the Olympic countdown continues and he dismissed rival Justin Gatlin's suggestions that fans were bored of the Usain Bolt show.
“For me that was just one of my bad races I just have to put it behind me and move on to the next race,” Bolt said at a news conference on Tuesday.
We have talked (he and his coach Glen Mills), but for me on that day I explained to him that my legs were feeling... I wasn't feeling that energetic, probably lack of sleep or not enough food.
“Since I got here I've been trying to get some sleep, eat properly. It was just the first, probably, 45-50 metres really, and then we talked about getting my shoulders up, but not much.
“That was my first very bad start. My start is where it should be, I'm feeling good, I'm getting better in training.”
Bolt will test himself against fellow Jamaican and former world record holder Asafa Powell at the Stadio Olimpico, where once again most of the fans will be desperate to catch a glimpse of the fastest man on earth despite Gatlin's claims.
“They've watched the Usain Bolt show for a couple of years, they want to see someone else in the mix,” Gatlin said after the Diamond League meet in Doha earlier in the month where he finished first with a time of 9.87 seconds.
Reminded of Gatlin's comments, Bolt laughed them off.
“I don't want to be rude or anything but I think that Gatlin had his chance,” Bolt, whose world record is 9.58 seconds, said. “It's funny the things he says. I think he has a few guys to get past before worrying about me.”
“You can't expect to be at the same place every season, it's a sport,” he added.
“Things are up and down, training regimes are different, but the coach is happy with my progress. I know that he has a plan and is happy with how I'm doing. I'm just taking my time and working for the Olympics, because that's the key.” – Reuters