6th July, 2012
Olympic track legend and Laureus World Sports Academy Member Michael Johnson says Jamaica’s Usain Bolt is still favourite to win three gold medals in London, despite Yohan Blake’s victory in the 100 metres in the Jamaica Olympic Trials in Kingston last week.
Speaking in an interview with Laureus.com, Johnson says: “Yohan Blake showed he will take advantage when Bolt does not perform at his best. Bolt now has a legitimate challenger and will need to be at his best in London to defend his Olympic title.
“But I think Usain can do whatever he wants to do! He’s got that type of talent and he wants to win three gold medals again. I would say if he gets to the starting line healthy, at his best, everyone else at their best, he wins every time, I mean he’s just that good.”
Johnson, who won four Olympic gold medals at 200 metres, 400 metres and 4 x 400 metres relay, also believes Bolt could run much faster, if he improves his technique.
“He could break the world record again, he could run 9.5 secs, lower. Ultimately if he were to really be focused and committed on cleaning up his technique, he could probably run 9.4 secs, but he would have to do some major training and adjustments in the way that he runs.
“We’ve done some analysis at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in Dallas and compared to say Tyson Gay or Asafa Powell, he runs very raw. He’s not a very clean sprinter, if you look at him from a bio-mechanical standpoint. Usain Bolt could absolutely run faster, but it would take a tremendous commitment on his part to do a complete overhaul of his technique.”
Asked who would be Bolt’s main challengers in the 100 metres, Johnson says: “His training partner Yohan Blake (who beat him in Kingston), the three Americans, Tyson Gay, Walter Dix and Justin Gatlin, Christophe Lemaitre, the Frenchman, and Richard Thompson from Trinidad.
Those are the guys that we will probably see in the finals, but it just sounds funny to even talk about who can stop him. Because they can only stop him if something happens to him.”