The Telegraph
Saturday , August 11 , 2012
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‘Have no respect for Carl Lewis’

Usain Bolt, on Thursday

London: Usain Bolt took a momentary break from basking in his historic Olympic sprinting double to fiercely criticise Carl Lewis.

Soon after winning gold in the 200m at the London Olympics for 100 and 200 titles at back-to-back Games, Bolt said, at a media conference on Thursday, that he had “lost all respect” for Lewis after the American was quoted as saying Jamaica’s doping controls were not as strong as other countries.

The following are excerpts

On his brilliant performance in the 200 metres…

This was what I wanted and I got it. I’m very proud of myself. I had a tough season but I came and I did what I had to do. It was possible that I could have broken the world record but I guess I wasn’t fit enough. I was fast but I wasn’t fit enough. I came off the corner and I could feel the strain on my back. So I was trying to keep form. I decelerated because I knew I wasn’t going to break the world record. A lot of people doubted my talent… In a way it’s good because now you know who your true friends are who are going to support you through everything.

Whether this unprecedented double-double will give him a legendary status…

I am now a living legend. You people must splash this all over the town… If I don’t see this in the newspapers and on TV in all your countries, then I will never give an interview again. Tell everyone to follow me on Twitter.

The secret behind becoming a legend

To become a legend you need to set a goal for yourself… It is not easy to explain. It won’t sink in until I sit down with my friends and family back home. Right now I am just happy with the hype…

On Carl Lewis’ dope slur

I’m going to say something controversial. I have no respect for Carl Lewis. The things he says about the track athletes are very downgrading. I think he’s just looking for attention because nobody really talks about him. I’ve lost all respect for him... all respect. It was all about drugs. He was always talking about drugs. To me, a retired athlete should not say all those things. It was really upsetting for me… To jump up and say something like that. As far as I’m concerned he’s just looking for attention. That’s all.

Whether the Jamaican sprint team is drug-free

Without a doubt… We train hard. Especially my teammates… We see each other work hard each day. We work hard, we throw up every day. We endure the pain. We are trying our best to show the world that we are clean.

Whether he considers himself better than Mohammed Ali, Pele, Michael Jordan or Bob Marley

Ali was the greatest in his sport, Jordan the greatest in his, and I am the greatest in mine. So I guess I am at their level. I am in the same category as Michael Johnson too. Bob Marley? Well, he’s on a different plane altogether… I’m just carrying on his duty. We have the same goal… To make Jamaica a country that is loved around the world.

An athlete he would like to be compared to…

Definitely Jesse Owens, without a doubt. He’s a great athlete, he’s been winning back-to-back years. For me it’s wonderful to show the world that I’m the best.

On Yohan Blake, who finished second

I told Yohan two years ago that it is not his time. It is my time. He will have to wait.

Whether it is possible to break a world record in the4x100m relay

There’s a possibility. Last year I wasn’t that fast. I’m better now. Yohan has got a personal best this year also. The fact that both of us have gone faster this season says it’s possible. It will be a good way to close the show, definitely.

Whether he would like to play the IPL

You very well know who the biggest star in IPL is — Chris Gayle. And I have got his wicket. No need to say anything more!

On what kind of woman could live with a living legend

I used to have a type but I don’t have a type any more. It’s all about falling in love. There, I said it.

Whether he will run in Rio four years from now…

I think it’s going to be a hard mission. Both the guys (Blake and Weir) are 22 – I’m will be 30, they are going to be 26. I think I’ve had my time. In life, everything is possible, but for me this is going to be a hard reach.

Talking about my future plans… I really don’t know … Whether to run the 100 or 200 or try something else. I need to find a new goal… A goal which will motivate me to do bigger things. But, I am not ready to retire. I love this sport. The rest of the season I am just going to have fun. It’s all about the 4x100 now…