21 July 2016
The 100m and 200m world record holder Usain Bolt spoke to the media ahead of the Müller Anniversary Games, where he will race over 200m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting.
The multi-Olympic and world gold medallist will go head-to-head with a quality field over 200m on Friday night, taking on Rio-bound Adam Gemili (coach: Steve Fudge) and Danny Talbot (Benke Blomkvist), as well as Diamond Race leader Alonso Edward of Panama.
On competing at the Müller Anniversary Games, Bolt said: “I am here to win so that’s my focus and hopefully everything goes as smooth as I want tomorrow. I am always excited to compete here in London; it’s going to be a lot of fun so I’m looking forward to it.”
Bolt won triple Olympic gold in London 2012, so he has good memories of the unique atmosphere inside the Stadium at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. He added: “I really enjoy competing here in London because the crowd is always magnificent and energetic. I always love competing in front of an energetic crowd.
“It means the world to be back here. The crowd is always going to be great, one thing I really appreciate here is that the track is wonderful and it’s going to be a great competition.”
With the Rio Olympic Games on the horizon, the Jamaican was in upbeat mood: “I am really excited about my last Olympics. This is where I need to make my big mark; I am looking forward to it. I had a slight setback, but I started my season on a good note and got a few races in. I am happy with the progress I am making and looking forward to Rio now.
“I try not to worry about simple things like times now, for me it’s all about execution at the moment.”
Later in the day, a quartet of world-class athletes spoke ahead of their appearances over the next two days. 2012 Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie, reigning Olympic and world triple jump champion Christian Taylor, world 200m champion Dafne Schippers, and the second fastest woman ever over the 100m hurdles, Kendra Harrison, are all set to impress the crowds over a stacked weekend over action.
Schippers, who ran the third fastest time ever over 200m in 2015, said: “This is my last competition before the Olympics – my body is feeling good so I am ready for Rio.”
Lavillenie, who has three IAAF Diamond League victories to his name so far this year, commented: “The stadium has been good to me; I’ve jumped 5.97m and 6.03m here before. For tomorrow I’m anticipating good weather to try and jump well once again, the performance will be great preparation for Rio.”
The Frenchman added: “At the Olympics four years ago I remembered when I competed, I felt at home - the French and British fans in the stadium were both great.”
An enthusiastic Taylor said: “I have a special relationship with the place – it was where I won my first Olympic gold medal. I competed here last year, and it is such a great crowd, so I’m looking forward to getting out there and experiencing the crowd once more.”
Harrison also added: “I feel like I’m in good shape at the moment but I was obviously disappointed to not make the Olympic team, which was my goal. But I can’t just stop my season; I’ll be going for the world record this season and getting as many Diamond League points as possible. That will make me continue to train hard and motivate me.”
Müller Yogurt & Desserts are the title partner for the world-class Anniversary Games in London, where they aim, through their Müllerlicious products and partnerships, to empower consumers to make active and healthy lifestyle choices, just like the inspiring athletes who compete in these athletic events in the run up to this year’s Olympic Games in Rio and throughout the year.
For tickets to the Müller Anniversary Games visit britishathletics.org.uk