Bolt open to 300m showdown with Wayde
15 August 2016, 20:46
Rio de Janeiro - Usain Bolt, fresh from winning an unprecedented third consecutive Olympic 100m gold, said he was open to racing newly-appointed world 400m record holder Wayde van Niekerk over 300m.
In a thrilling night of action at Rio's Olympic Stadium on Sunday, Van Niekerk crushed Michael Johnson's 17-year-old world record when he timed 43.03 seconds to win gold in the one-lap race.
No sooner had he finished than Jamaican sprint king Bolt took to the track and stormed to a comprehensive victory in the 100m.
Bolt, 29, is world record holder in the 100 and 200m and said he would fancy his chances against the 24-year-old South African, but over 300m, not 400m.
"That would be a good race!" Bolt enthused of the potential staging of the rarely-run 300m.
American Johnson also holds the 300m world record, his 30.85sec eclipsing Bolt's second-best of 30.97, with Van Niekerk lying third in the rankings with 31.03.
"This year I was hoping that I was in good shape when my coach told me that they were going to put on a 300m. I wasn't in the best of shape," he said.
"Hopefully next season, if he's in good shape, we might get a chance to run."
Bolt said he was confident Van Niekerk, who has a best of 9.98sec in the 100m and 19.94sec in the 200m, would not beat him over the latter distance.
"He can't beat me over 200m. I am not worried about that but I am really proud of him because when he came to Jamaica I said to him, 'Listen, you are the only person that I think can break this 400m world record'," Bolt said.
"He keeps on going, so for me I wasn't really surprised that he got it tonight. He looked in good shape."
Bolt couldn't resist one tiny dig, however, saying he would be world 400m record holder should his coach Glen Mills have had his way.
"My coach always wants me to run 400m," said Bolt, who has often complained at how hard the training for the 400m was.
"If it was up to my I'd be running 400m right now but I've bobbed and weaved."