The world's fastest man thinks he can go even faster -- but not by much.
Usain Bolt, who will defend his Olympic title in the 100 meters on Aug. 5, says he can run in the 9.4s in a big meet like the London Games, a time which would be considerably faster than his world record of 9.58, set during the 2009 world championships.
Anything faster than that is off the table, though.
"It is impossible to run 9.2," he told The Sun. "The body isn't made to go that fast no matter how hard you train, how good a shape you're in or how good your technique."
Bolt is looking to become the first man in over 100 years to repeat as 100-meter champion at a non-boycotted Olympics. His title defense got off to a rough start at Jamaican trials when he was upset by Yohan Blake in both sprint events.
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If it's not a teammate or the inexorable pull of history that hinders Bolt in his chances to win gold with a 9.4, it could be something else: the British weather. It's been a particularly rainy summer, even by London standards. Wimbledon was called "one of the showeriest on record" by The Telegraph. And though the forecast for the early days of the Games look good, the 100-meter final on Aug. 5 is still too far off to predict.
Rain would be devastating for world record chances. Because there's no roof at Olympic Stadium, runners could have to compete in chilly, damp weather for the highly anticipated final. Carl Lewis says it will be a disadvantage for many racers. "Sprinters obviously like warmer, drier weather," he told The Telegraph. "People who may run certain ways in those conditions may not run as well."
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But another American Olympic champion thinks 9.4 is on the table too. Michael Johnson said earlier this month that Bolt would need to make some improvements to run that time.
"If Usain was to be really focused and committed on cleaning up his technique he could probably run 9.4 seconds, but he would have to do some major training and adjustments in the way that he runs," Johnson said to Laureus.com. "I think he can do whatever he wants to do. If he gets to the starting line healthy, at his best, everyone else at their best, he wins every time ... he's that good."
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