Usain Bolt is considering using an ice chamber in London to guarantee his fitness for this month’s Olympics amid fears a back injury has derailed his preparations.
The world’s fastest man has flown to Germany to see Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt and has pulled out of his final warm-up race before the Games as he strives to get his body right for the huge challenge of defending his 100 metres and 200m titles against training partner Yohan Blake.
And Sportsmail has learned that Bolt’s camp are in discussions with a British company over the cryotherapy treatment, which aids athletes’ recovery by encasing them in liquid nitrogen at temperatures of -140C.
The 25-year-old is said to be keen on stepping into Britain’s only mobile ice chamber, which the Wales rugby team used this year as they won the Six Nations.
The chamber, supplied by CryolabSports, is secured in a former police van and can be driven to wherever it is needed.
Those using it strip to their underwear and let the cold air chill their body for up to three minutes, during which time the skin temperature drops significantly but the core stays the same. This boosts muscle recovery after exhausting training sessions and triggers the release of endorphins which help pain relief.
Bolt, whose aura of invincibility was punctured by two defeats by 100m world champion Blake at the Jamaican trials last week, could use it right away to help him recover from the injury which has forced him out of the Diamond League meeting in Monaco on Friday week.
He could alternatively decide to wait until he travels to London for the Games and use it between the rounds of his three events – the 100m, 200m and 4x100m.
Mo Farah is likely to use the chamber during the Olympics as he runs for gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m.
He regularly uses one supplied by Nike at his home in Eugene, Oregon, and CryolabSports have offered their services on these shores.
Farah has said: “You’re not stiff or anything, your body’s just freezing cold. But you recover right away. The following day – that’s when you feel a lot better.’
His coach Alberto Salazar is a long-time fan. “An ice bath may help you recover in terms of flushing something out of your legs,” he has said. “But the way this works, tiredness and soreness everywhere in your body is much less.”
Of his runners he added: “You can have them go in after a very hard workout and they’d normally just be completely wiped out. They’d do this and an hour or two later they feel great.’
Newcastle United players including Demba Ba spent time in the chamber at the end of last season and the club has signed up to use it again for the forthcoming year.
Manager Alan Pardew said: “We think it’s something different and we know it works.” – Daily Mail