CUSTOMARY POSE: Usain Bolt
HE MAY be a few months away from his 30th birthday and is still bothered by a serious case of scoliosis, but six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has no doubt that he still has a lot left in the tank - a point he hopes to prove this season.
With the Rio Olympics just around the corner, Bolt will be looking to qualify for his fourth Olympic Games and successfully defend the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay gold medals he won almost four years ago in London.
The double world record holder has been very clear about his objectives this season; protect his gold medals and lower his 19.19 world record in the 200m. But is that too much to ask?
Bolt doesn't seem to think so as he points to his poor run of injury-affected seasons and underlined that an uninterrupted 2016 campaign could truly bring out the best in him.
"I personally think that I can get better. I haven't had a good season since 2009, a season that I haven't gone without injuries or problems, so if I can get through on a clear note, then anything is possible," Bolt said.
It's perhaps no coincidence that 2009 was the year that the triple gold medal winner - from last year's World Championships in Beijing - set new marks in the 100m (9.58) and 200m (19.19).
He, says, however, that he is approaching the coming season with a positive outlook and noted that he had seen several areas in his technique with room for improvements.
"It's all about staying positive," said Bolt. "I think I am more focused because over the years I have seen ways where I can improve, and that's why I have always said that I am more likely to run faster over the 200m because I see where I can improve and I have talked to my coach, so it's possible," Bolt added.
"It's all about staying injury-free and staying on top of things and trying to get through the season and push myself towards my targets."
Since running 19.19 seconds over the 200m in 2009, Bolt's fastest time in the event has been 19.32 seconds, which he did at the 2012 Olympic Games. He has since ended seasons with 19.66 (2013) and 19.55 (2015). He did not run any 200m races in 2014.