After bagging three gold medals and setting two world records at the Berlin world championships, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt told CNN he didn’t expect to be so successful.
“I didn’t see this coming,” Bolt told CNN’s Frederik Pleitgen. “I guess it’s competition. I keep telling people competition is good for the sport. I had to be at my best, and I was at my best.” During the championships, Bolt smashed his own 100 meter world record with a time of 9.58 seconds. In the 200 meters, Bolt took gold in a phenomenal 19.19 seconds, shaving just a tenth of a second off the mark he set in winning the competition at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. He also nabbed a third gold in the 4 x 100 meter relay on the penultimate day of the championships on Saturday, running the third leg for Jamaica. “My secret’s just hard work and dedication,” Bolt told CNN. “I’m really dedicated to being a champion. I want to be a legend, so I have to work really hard.” Bolt told a cheering crowd at a news conference in the German capital, “I will never forget being here.” He told CNN he has been training for this ever since 2007, when he suffered defeat at the Osaka world championships. He and his coach analyzed that performance, and he went back and worked on some aspects of his sprinting, he told CNN. How much faster can he go “I don’t know,” Bolt, who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Friday, told CNN.
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“I have no clue. Right now, I’m just happy I got the gold medals.” He said he is grateful for remaining injury-free, as well. Among the honors Bolt received was a large piece of the Berlin Wall. He told reporters he was honored, but wasn’t sure how he was going to transport it home to Jamaica. Asked whether he expected such success, Bolt told CNN, “I was hoping. I was definitely hoping, but I wasn’t sure what was going to happen here.” Joined at a news conference organized by the Jamaica Tourist Board along with other athletes and Jamaican officials, Bolt invited the crowd to come to Jamaica. He said he plans to return to the island and explore it during his down time. “Come and see the places which I’m going to see … it’s a beautiful country,” he said. Bolt told reporters his coach won’t let him get complacent. “I know what it takes to stay on top, and that’s the aim. I told you guys, I want to be a legend, and I can’t be complacent if I want to be a legend.” He said he definitely plans to return for the 2011 global championships in Daegu, South Korea and gave a strong hint he intends to seriously tackle the longer 400m race to add to his triumphs over 100 and 200m.
“I think I’ll be ready for the 400, definitely,” he said. Bolt said he is “just happy that I got the championship. The world record comes and goes, but for me it’s all about (the) championship.”