Bolt arrives in Rio to defend 100m, 200m titles

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(CMC) Usain Bolt arrived in Rio, Brazil, late Wednesday night to begin final preparations for next month’s Olympic Games, where he will seek an unprecedented third successive sweep of both sprints.

The 29-year-old touched down on a flight from London where he last week captured the 200 metres at the London Anniversary Games. The race was his last before heading into the August 5-21 showpiece.

While Bolt paused for photos from waiting media, he did not give any interviews and eventually left in a private car.

Bolt’s campaign at the Games is expected to take the headlines, as the global icon attempts to repeat his achievements from Beijing 2008 and London 2012, when he won gold in the 100m, 200m and the sprint relay.

Bolt upon his arrival in Rio paused for photos from waiting media, he did not give any interviews and eventually left in a private car. (Photo: AP)
Bolt upon his arrival in Rio paused for photos from waiting media, he did not give any interviews and eventually left in a private car. (Photo: AP)

Earlier this month, Bolt sent shockwaves through the athletics fraternity when he pulled out of the Jamaica National Trials with an injury.

The move placed a huge question mark over his fitness in time for the Rio Games and his ability to properly defend his titles.

However, he eased those fears by storming to victory in the 200 metres in London last week in a time of 19.89, and said afterward he was ready for the challenge of the Olympic Games.

“I always have little doubts in my mind. But I’m focused and ready to go,” he told the media before departing London.

“My coach (Glenn Mills) always tells me that the older you get, it’s going to get harder, and you have to push yourself,” he added.

The Games are being hyped as a battle between Bolt and American Justin Gatlin, who has overcome a drugs ban to return to prominence in the sport.

Bolt twice beat Gatlin at last year’s World Championships in Beijing and once again backed himself to repeat.

“Last year Gatlin was just not ready. It was the first time he was actually being chased,” Bolt also said in London last week.

“He was usually the one who was chasing. Or he was winning by far, but this time he had a tough competitor, which was me. It was hard for him.”

Bolt is the World record holder in both the 100m and 200m.

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