Usain Bolt ponders TV work, compliments Justin Gatlin

AP
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Usain Bolt is not interested in his own TV show in retirement, but analyst work may be in his future.

“I know I’m a showman, but I’m not really into television that much to be having my own show or anything,” Bolt said Monday in Ostrava, two days before he races in the Czech city for a ninth time. “I just like entertaining the crowd.

“We’ll see about the TV [commentary] part. I’m not sure, but I’m sure somebody will want me to do some stuff with them.”

Bolt will race a 100m in Ostrava on Wednesday at 2:55 p.m. ET against a weak field. He continues to prepare for his farewell world championships in London in August before hanging up the spikes.

Bolt repeated Monday that he may race again this season after worlds.

He goes into Wednesday’s race, his second of the season, ranked No. 22 in the world in the 100m. Bolt ran 10.03 seconds at his final career race in Jamaica on June 10, his slowest-ever 100m this late in a season. He called that effort “horrifying.”

It’s not much of a worry, given Bolt’s history of easing into the summer. And that no other sprinter is unbeaten this season.

Bolt said he was “shocked” that his main rival the last few years, Justin Gatlin, came back to win the U.S. 100m title on Friday night.

Gatlin, who had not run a sub-10 wind-legal 100m in 2017 going into that final, overcame NCAA champion Christian Coleman in 9.95 seconds. Coleman, who made the U.S. team in the 100m and 200m, still owns the fastest time in the world this year of 9.82 seconds.

“I was actually shocked that [Gatlin] actually won the trials because of just how quick the young kids were running,” said Bolt, who won his third Olympic title in Rio in 9.81 seconds, his slowest winning time at an Olympics or worlds. “That just shows that Justin Gatlin’s a competitor, you know what I mean? He shows, year after year, that he’s not be taken lightly.”

It sets up another potential Bolt-Gatlin showdown in the world championships 100m final on Aug. 5. Bolt relegated Gatlin to silver at the 2013 and 2015 Worlds and in Rio.

Bolt’s coach for all of those Olympic titles, Glen Mills, has been pushing the sprinter hard to get into coaching.

“Maybe next season, I’ll be at the track a lot, but I won’t be a coach [yet],” Bolt said. “I just want do what I have to and retire, take a vacation. Just relax. I let my team worry about what direction I should go after I retire.”

Bolt has repeated that he will miss two facets of being a professional athlete — the fans and the competition.

“Especially if I see like a youngster steps up and starts running some fast times, I’ll definitely think I’ll miss the fact that I could have gotten the chance to compete against this person,” he said.

Those youngsters may already be emerging.

Wayde van Niekerk, the 24-year-old South African who broke Michael Johnson‘s 400m world record in Rio, is set to challenge Johnson’s 300m world record in Ostrava on Wednesday.

Van Niekerk is also expected to race the 200m at worlds, but Bolt is skipping that race for the first time in his career.

Then there’s 22-year-old Canadian Andre De Grasse, who ran 9.69 seconds on June 18, albeit with a massive 4.8 meters/second tailwind, making it ineligible for ranking purposes.

Can Bolt keep up with that?

“Well, I am the fastest man in the world,” he said. “So, yeah, I will say yes to that.”

MORE: Gatlin gets one more shot at Bolt after surprise U.S. 100m title

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