London - Usain Bolt is confident he can produce one more
magical Midas touch when he seeks to defend his 100m title at the IAAF World
In eight individual finals at the past four worlds (as well
as in four 4x100m relay finals, Bolt has only suffered one hiccup: when he
false started in the 100m final in Daegu in 2011.
Eleven world titles to go along with eight Olympic golds:
Bolt has the experience of dealing with multi-round big-event racing.
It would be a brave person to bet against the 30-year-old
Jamaican, no matter how sluggish, relatively speaking, his season has been so
He has had only three outings, all over 100m, and only once
dipped under the 10-second barrier, in Monaco last month (9.95sec).
"If I show up at a championships, I'm fully
confident," Bolt maintained.
"My coach (Glen Mills) is confident and I'm ready to
go. I'm fully confident, 100 percent."
Whilst labelling himself "for some reason, the
underdog," Bolt fired out a warning shot at potential rivals by saying he
wanted to bring the curtain down on his individual exploits as a sprinter who
was "unbeatable, unstoppable."
Bolt suffered a rare defeat in the 100m by two-time doping
cheat Justin Gatlin at the Rome Diamond League meet in 2013, losing out by a
hundredth of a second.
The multi-medalled American, now 35, will be in the field in
the British capital and a nailed-down contender for a podium place.
Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m gold medallist and 2005 world
champion before serving a ban between 2006-10, won silvers behind Bolt in
Beijing in 2015 and Moscow two years previously, and last year became the
oldest man to win a 100m Olympic medal when he took silver in Rio, also behind
his Jamaican nemesis.
Bolt's team-mate Yohan Blake, world 100m champion in 2011
after the false start, and Gatlin's compatriot Christian Coleman, who has the
season's fastest time of 9.82sec, should be in the running.
Bolt's path to victory was given a boost on Wednesday when
Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse withdrew from the Worlds with a hamstring
injury he suffered in training. De Grasse was a medal threat in the 100m and
South African Akani Simbine and Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut all
have a realistic chance of bagging a medal should they safely negotiate heats
and keep enough in reserve from Friday's heats for Saturday's semi-final and
"I love competition, I thrive on competition and I want
people to run fast to push me," warned Bolt, who set the current world
record of 9.58sec when he won world gold in Berlin in 2009, his winning times
in the last two championships being 9.79 and 9.77 respectively.
"I'm the underdog, for some reason," Bolt said.
"That's what I keep reading. That's what my team keeps telling me... I've
got to prove myself once more.
"My last race was 9.95, which shows I'm going in the
right direction. The two rounds (of heats and semi-finals) always help me. I'm
always going forward.
"At a championships it's about who keeps their nerve.
I've been here before. It's time to go. It's 'go' time."