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August 28, 2009

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Bolt eyes shot at long jump

IT may be time to extend those sand pits because Usain Bolt is considering the long jump.

The Jamaican sprint star said yesterday he would like to try the long jump some day.

If Bolt comes close to the standards he has set in the sprints, the world record of 8.95 meters could be in danger some day, although he said the addition of a new event to his schedule was not round the corner. Mike Powell's world record has stood since 1991.

"I definitely want to try the long jump, I think I can be a good long jumper," Bolt said yesterday, on the eve of the Weltklasse Golden League meet in Zurich, Switzerland. "I've messed around with it. I think I'd be good. I think I'd have a good distance, just looking at it."

Although Bolt said he has never measured his leaps, the 23-year-old sprinter who shattered world records in the 100 and 200 meters at the recent world championships did not put a timetable on his long jumping career. "Maybe when the races start getting tighter, closer," Bolt said.

While not ruling out that he might compete in the long jump at the 2012 Olympics in London, Bolt cautioned that it was still just his own idea.

"I haven't discussed it with my coach," said Bolt, who added that running the 400 was not in his plans. "I want to try it (the long jump) before I retire."

That could be some time off. Bolt slashed .11 seconds of his world record in both the 100 and 200 this month in Berlin, winning overwhelmingly. He clocked 9.58 in the 100 and 19.19 in the 200 to improve the times he set in winning gold medals at last year's Beijing Olympics.

Bolt said he was surprised by how quickly he ran the 200 in Berlin. "I think the fans were pretty much looking for one (world record) because I also did it in Beijing, so I said what the heck, let's go for it. But I was surprised at how good it was."

He would not speculate about today's 100-meter event in Zurich, where he will face off against Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell, the bronze medalist in Berlin.

Bolt earlier made a public appearance at Zurich's main railway station, stepping out of a black limousine to rapturous applause from about 3,000 flag-waving fans.

Dressed in a dark-blue T-shirt, jeans and white sneakers, Bolt spent about an hour signing autographs before putting in a brief DJ performance for the crowd.


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