Fri, September 20, 2013

Usain Bolt partying with Olympic races still looming

By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency


Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates after winning his men's 200-metre semifinal at the London 2012 Olympic Games Wednesday. (REUTERS)


Never mind the gold medal celebrations on the track.

What’s Usain Bolt going to do to celebrate his next win away from Olympic Stadium?

“Usainity” — which has been going wild for days amid online reports of Bolt’s partying with the Swedish women’s handball team — got cranked up another notch at the Olympic Stadium Wednesday when he easily qualified for the 200-metre final.

Bolt won his semifinal heat with a time of 20.18, though it looked like he let up halfway through and ran just hard enough to maintain his lead.

He keeps alive his chances for a three-peat here, after winning the 100 metres, 200 metres and the 4x100 relay in Beijing four years ago.

“You can’t try to work too hard,” said Bolt, who said he went hard for the first 70 metres. “I was working on my technique on the corner. I really pushed myself to see how I feel in the corner. I did that. Probably 90%. Didn’t feel that bad. I’m going to ask my coach to give me a few pointers and we’ll work on it.”

Bolt was asked if he felt like he had a world-record performance left in him for the final.

“There’s a possibility, definitely. I can’t say, but the track is fast and it’s going to be a good race,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who have come to spoil the party, so we’ll see.”

Teammate Yohan Blake won the first semi with a time of 20.01 and Churandy Murray won the third with a time of 20.17.

The Jamaicans placed three in the final with Warren Weir finishing second in the third semi with a time of 20.28.

Wallace Spearmon of the U.S. (20.02) finished second to Bolt in their semi and Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa second to Blake in a time of 20.27 to all automatically advance.

Rounding out the final are Alex Quinonez of Ecuador (20.37) and Christophe Lemaitre of France (20.03).

Canada’s Aaron Brown of Toronto ran a personal best of 20.42 and finished fourth in Bolt’s heat. He came up just short of qualifying for the final with the ninth-fastest time on the night.

Jared Connaughton of Charlottetown, PEI, finished seventh in Blake’s heat with a time of 20.64.

So Bolt will have shot at gold medal No. 2 Thursday.

Judging by the online frenzy he created, what’s even better than a potential triple on the track was the triple Bolt pulled off in celebrating his 100-metre win Sunday night. He tweeted a photo of himself partying with three members of the Swedish women’s handball team.

Along with the photo, Bolt tweeted: “A gaza (in Kingston) we say hmmm mmm.”

Swedish players Gabriella Kain, Isabelle Gullden and Jamina Roberts apparently spent 90 minutes with Bolt, talking, they said, until 3 a.m. An hour later, Bolt tweeted another photo of him sitting alone holding up three fingers with the caption, “I am up and ready to go again.”

According to the Mirror newspaper, Bolt dated Canadian fashion designer Lubica Slovak for six months, but ended the relationship before the Games.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson