Bolt sits out European meets

The world’s fastest man is off to a slow start. 

Thanks to his tedious recovery from a foot injury, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt might not run his season’s first race until after the summer. Bolt, 27, is skipping the Golden Spike event in Ostrava, Czech Republic on June 17 and also intends to miss an International Association of Athletics Federations Diamonds League meet in Paris, France on July 5. Bolt says he is not up jamaican sprinting to his usual standards. 

“I had to miss some training in late March and early April due to a foot injury,” Bolt said. “Thankfully, my foot is 100 percent healthy now and I am back in full training. Due to the training that I missed, I am behind where I am at normally at this time of year and will not be ready to race in the Ostrava Golden Spike meet or Meeting Areva in Paris.” 

The six-time Olympic champion was expected to race the 100 meters in the Czech Republic for the seventh time. According to organizers, the meet will now center on American sprinter Justin Gatlin, who set a year-leading time of 9.87 seconds last month. Bolt was also scheduled to run the 100m in France. 

Bolt, who previously expressed a desire to break his own 200-meter world record of 19.19 seconds in 2014, said he is pacing himself for the Olympics.  

“It is important for me to take my time this year as I have three tough years ahead in 2015, 2016 and 2017 as I attempt to defend my world and Olympic titles. I definitely plan to compete this season.” 

After competing in the Cayman Islands for the first time last year, Bolt would go on to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the world championships. He won the same three races at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 2009 world championships. 

Interestingly, the current world record holder in the 100m and 200m has not ruled out competing in the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Countryman Yohan Blake has said he will attend and Cayman is sending its biggest team ever to the competition from July 23 to August 3, led by top sprinter Kemar Hyman. 

If Bolt does compete in Glasgow, he has said in the past that it will only be in the 200m.  

“I hope to be back in competition soon, but how soon will depend on my training in the next few weeks,” added Bolt. “I will continue to work hard with my coach, who I have the utmost confidence in, to get me fit and ready to compete.” 

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Usain Bolt competed in Cayman last year. – PHOTO: MATTHEW YATES
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