Injury concerns leave Bolt wondering which way to jump

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday October 31, 2012 — If a recent news conference in Rio de Janeiro is anything to go by, sprint superstar Usain Bolt must have a lot on his mind as he heads back into serious training after a series of post-Olympic promotional tours and celebrity appearances.

Jamaica’s “Lightning” Bolt is apparently still unsure whether he will try competing in the long jump event because he doesn’t want to risk an injury that could keep him from defending his sprint titles and going for a historic “three-peat” at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The world’s fastest man said he is still evaluating the possibility of taking on the long jump, but is concerned that his preparation for the event could make him more susceptible to knee injuries. Bolt already has intermittent problems associated with his spine condition, scoliosis.

“The plan is (to compete in the) long jump maybe before the Olympics, but I have talked to my coach a little bit and he’s shown some concern about the fact that long jump can bring some problems to the knee,” Bolt told reporters in Rio de Janeiro.

Bolt, who gained living legend status when he became the first man to successfully defend the 100- and 200-metre titles at the London Olympics, remains undecided about whether he will try competing in either the long jump or the 400 in Rio.

“We will sit down and evaluate if we want to do it,” Bolt said at the news conference. “Because if I do it, I may jeopardise my opportunity to come to Rio, so I may not do long jump. It concerns me. We will look (it) over and see if it is possible.”

Earlier this month, the 26-year-old athlete announced his intention of going for a “three-peat” of his Olympic sprint titles in Rio, but a few days later he said the long jump and the 400 were not out of the question.

Meanwhile, he took time off from his promotional schedule in Rio to do some sightseeing around the city.

Bolt, a Catholic, began his two-day trip by visiting the world famous Christ the Redeemer statue, then took a helicopter tour over Copacabana Beach, Sugar Loaf Mountain and Maracana Stadium, which is being renovated for next year’s Confederation Cup and the 2014 World Cup.

Bolt, an avid soccer fan, went on to post a photo of the stadium on his Twitter account and said: “Construction in full Usain Bolt speed ahead of World Cup football.”

The Maracana will also be used during the 2016 Games, but the athletics competitions will take place at Joao Havelange Stadium, also known as the Engenhao.

Bolt also visited a local athletics facility and met with young Brazilian athletes. He received Rio’s key to the city from Mayor Eduardo Paes, with whom he also shared a brief fun run for the media. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)