The world track and field championships in Moscow are just seven weeks away now, and six-time Olympics champ and “fastest man alive” Usain Bolt wants to be a factor, he’s going to have to start picking up the pace a little bit.
Bolt ran a respectable 9.94 seconds in the 100m to win the Jamaican nationals in Kingston Friday, but his time would have only been good enough for third in Des Moines, as Tyson Gay ran a worlds best of 9.75 and Justin Gatlin, who beat Bolt in Rome a few weeks back, ran 9.89 on Friday.
“It’s all about getting through and getting it done and that’s what I did,” Bolt explained to reporters after the finals Friday night. “I’ve got a lot more work to do. As long as the coach is not worried, I’m not worried.”
Bolt rarely gets out of the blocks very quickly, and once again said his “execution wasn’t the best.” But he also didn’t have a whole lot pushing him after national teammate and defending world champ Yohan Blake sat out the race with a hamstring injury. Blake, who beat Bolt in both the 100m and 200m last year at nationals, will be back in time for Moscow, though, as he gets an automatic bid for worlds.
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The Brazilian torch relay for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics has kicked off with volleyball player Fabiana Claudino running the first leg after the torch was ignited by embattled President Dilma Rousseff.
Rousseff says “Brazil is ready to host the most successful Olympics in history.”
The Olympic flame arrived in a lantern on a flight from Switzerland a few hours earlier and was taken to the Planalto presidential palace.
The three-month relay across Brazil, ending at the opening ceremony on Aug. 5 at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio, will involve 329 cities and 12,000 torchbearers. Rio organizers hope it will build enthusiasm for the games, which has lagged as Brazil battles bribery and corruption scandals and its deepest recession in decades.
The start of the relay comes just a week before the Brazilian senate is expected to suspend Rousseff for six months as it considers her impeachment.
MORE: Rio Olympic flame will live downtown — not in stadium
Michael Phelps could face his lightest-ever competition run-up to an Olympic Trials after opting not to swim at a meet in Atlanta next week.
Last week, Phelps noted one other scheduled meet before the U.S. Olympic Trials (June 26-July 3). That’s in Austin, Texas, from June 3-5.
In his previous four Olympic cycles, Phelps swam at least two meets in the final two months before the Olympic Trials, according to USA Swimming statistics.
Phelps’ training plan in May and June will be impacted by the impending birth of his first child. Fiancée Nicole Johnson is 36 weeks pregnant, according to her Instagram.
Without Phelps, the Atlanta meet is expected to include five-time 2015 World champion Katie Ledecky, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, Olympic 100m free champion Nathan Adrian and rising sprint freestyler Caeleb Dressel.
VIDEO: Phelps’ interview with Matt Lauer