ROME (AFP) –
Usain Bolt is hoping the track in Rome will help propel him to a fast time and banish memories of his poor showing in Ostrava four days ago.
Running into a slight headwind, the Jamaican superstar recorded his worst time for three years in the Czech Republic.
His time of 10.04sec over 100m was still good enough to win but the Olympic champion is hoping it was just a one-off.
“I definitely think Rome is a fast track, Asafa (Powell) proved that when I think he ran 9.7sec twice on this track,” said Bolt.
“That’s good, I’m looking forward to competing in the lead up to the trials in Jamaica, it’s good to run and compete before the trials.
“A lot of people predicted I would run 9.7sec in Ostrava, I said I wanted to run 9.7sec because I ran 9.8sec in Kingston (in his previous race).
“For me 9.7sec is always a good time to run but I never predict because you never know what will happen on the day, as happened in Ostrava.”
Although it was almost half a second off his world record of 9.58sec, Bolt insisted it was nothing more than a blip and that he is still on course to defend his Olympic crowns in both the 100m and 200m in London.
“I said every day that you can never have a good race every time you run, for me it was just one of my bad races,” he added.
“I have to put it behind and move on, I’m not worried, there are a lot more races to run and the main races are at the Olympics.”
Despite discussing it with his coach Glen Mills, Bolt could not pinpoint just why he had run so badly, although he still pipped St Kitts and St Nevis veteran Kim Collins and American Darivs Patton into second and third.
“We have talked but for me on that day I explained that my legs were just not feeling that energetic,” said Bolt.
“It was probably a lack of sleep or food, I don’t know, I didn’t feel the energy I normally feel.
“Since then I’ve been trying to get better sleep and eat better. I wasn’t feeling that bad technically over the first 45-50m but then we talked about my shoulders coming up a bit but not much.”
While it is still only the very elite speedsters who can dip under 10-seconds for 100m, Bolt referred to it as a “slow” time but added that there was no need to worry that such a snail’s pace will be repeated any time soon.
“Ten seconds is just 10.0sec, it can happen to any one of us,” he said.
“For me you’re never happy to run 10sec because it’s a slow time but it happens, you have to move on and focus on the next race and figure out what happened.
“No one wants bad days but I don’t think it will become a trend.
“For me it’s not a problem, I never stress over things like this.
“I think I’ve gone through so many things that even if I lose every race before the Olympics it won’t bother me because I have one focus and that’s to go to the Olympics and do great things.
“I want to be the champion, I’m focused on that and my coach is the greatest ever, he knows what he wants to do to get me into top shape so I’m not bothered.”
Last year Bolt made his season bow in this race and surged to victory in 9.91sec, despite a poor start.
He beat Powell into second (9.93sec) with Christophe Lemaitre third (10.00sec) and those two will again be his main rivals in the Eternal City this time around.