LONDON, July 21 – Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt plans to send a message to arch rival Tyson Gay by breaking the world 100m record in the London Grand Prix on Friday.Bolt, who won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in record times at the Beijing Olympics last year, is determined to use the Crystal Palace event to crush the morale of his main rival for gold at next month’s World Athletics Championships in Berlin.
The 22-year-old is slowly returning to peak form after posting 19.59sec for the 200m in Lausanne earlier this month and clocking a time of 9.79sec over 100m in cold, rainy conditions in Paris on Friday.
Despite Bolt’s impressive times, Gay still believes he has the beating of the Jamaican. But Bolt insists there is no-one in the sport who scares him and he will prove the point in south London this weekend.
"I’m not running scared. I’m not scared of anyone – I’ve never backed down from any challenge," Bolt said at a press conference on Tuesday.
"Rivalry is always good in both ways. It excites me to know there’s someone out there who can beat me and it’s good for the sport and the fans. It gives people something to talk about.
"Everyone knows that Asafa (Powell) and Tyson Gay are my main rivals but I take everyone seriously. Everyone is stepping up and there’s a lot of good work happening on the circuit. I just need to stay focused."
Although Bolt believes he is only running at 85 percent at the moment while he recovers from injuries suffered in a recent car crash in Jamaica, he sees no reason why he can’t shatter his world record 100m time of 9.69 seconds.
However he won’t get the chance to take on Gay in the 100m in London as the American is only running in the 200m, which Bolt is not competing in, so he will have to settle for underlining his own ability.
"I’m at 85 percent. It’s mainly just my 200m work I have to get back as I didn’t do much work after my accident in Jamaica but I should be ok," Bolt said.
"That means I need to work better. I’m not in the best shape of my life but I’m still in good shape. I need to work on the 200m and after London, I will concentrate on the 200m ahead of the World Championships.
"You never know what is possible. I will give my best either way. My friends are saying I’m bringing the rain wherever I go but we will see on Friday."
While Bolt would love to make a big impact in London, he knows the main event is the World Championships.
"The Worlds are a big championship. It will be hard as Tyson Gay will want to defend his title but it will be good. It’s the same schedule as the Olympics so it should be ok," he added.
"The London Grand Prix will show me where I’m at and what I need to do. After, we can analyse what I need to do ahead of the World Championships."