Usain Bolt, who will defend his Olympic title in the 100 meters on Aug. 5, says he can run in the 9.4s in a big meet like the London Games, a time which would be considerably faster than his world record of 9.58, set during the 2009 world championships.
"It is impossible to run 9.2," he told The Sun. "The body isn’t made to go that fast no matter how hard you train, how good a shape you’re in or how good your technique."
Bolt is looking to become the first man in over 100 years to repeat as 100 meter champion at a non boycotted Olympics. His title defense got off to a rough start at Jamaican trials when he was upset by Yohan Blake in both sprint events.[ Related: Yohan Blake gets the best of Usain Bolt again ]
If it’s not a teammate or the inexorable pull of history that hinders Bolt in his chances to win gold with a 9.4, it could be something else: the British weather. It’s been a particularly rainy summer, even by London standards. Wimbledon was called "one of the showeriest on record" by The Telegraph. And though the forecast for the early days of the Games look good, the 100 meter final on Aug. 5 is still too far off to predict.
Rain would be devastating for world record chances. Because there’s no roof at Olympic Stadium, runners could have to compete in chilly, damp weather for the highly anticipated final. Carl Lewis says it will be a disadvantage for many racers."Sprinters obviously like warmer, drier weather," he told The Telegraph. "People who may run certain ways in those conditions may not run as well."[ Photos: Usain Bolt in action ]
But another American Olympic champion thinks 9.4 is on the table too. Michael Johnson said earlier this month that Bolt would need to make some improvements to run that time.