TUNE-UP: Champ eyes 9.7-second outing in Euro season debut
REIGNING double Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt is targeting a 9.7 seconds time when he takes to the track to race the 100 metres here on Friday in his European season debut.
The Jamaican will be making his sixth appearance in the eastern Czech city, where he holds the meet record of 19.83s over 200m, set just before the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
"It's almost like the 'must' for me," the 25-year-old told media on arrival. "I really enjoy running here and my coach (Glenn Mills) knows this is one of the meets I must come to every year.
"It's always important to run good races. I'm definitely looking forward to it. I started off the season very well," he said of his winning 9.82s performance over the Kingston Invitational 100m earlier this month.
Bolt said the track in Ostrava was a fast one, and that he was clearly targeting to beat compatriot Asafa Powell's meet record of 9.83sec, set in 2010.
"Ostrava's a good track and I always do extremely well here. So I'm just looking forward to going out there, running well," he said.
"I'll definitely like to go faster than my opening race. I think I'm in great shape. My coach is very happy at where I'm at, and I'm very happy with it also.
"So I'm definitely going out there to run very fast, 9.7s would be good for me."
Turning to the Olympic Games in London, Bolt joked he would like to take home "as much as possible" when it came to gold medals.
More seriously, he also sent out a broadside to rivals that he wanted to improve on his showing in Beijing, when he won gold in the 100, 200 and 4x100m, all won in world record times.
Bolt went on to better his 100 and 200m records at the 2009 Berlin worlds to 9.58 and 19.19s.
"I definitely want to improve on my last Olympic Games, run fast, win more gold, even equal it," he said. "I'll be going out there running my 100, 200 and 4x100m and doing as best as possible. Hopefully I can break those records at the Olympic Games. That would be a wonderful feat and I'm training for it."
Bolt added that he had been left disappointed by Chelsea's Champions League victory over German club Bayern Munich over the weekend.
The football aficionado, a proclaimed Manchester United fan, said he had been supporting Bayern, with whom his doctor works, thus incurring the Jamaican's support.
"I think Bayern had a lot of chances, but my side lost," he said. AFP