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September 10, 2009

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Tired Bolt tentative on Shanghai

A fatigued Usain Bolt will wait until this weekend to decide whether to compete in China and South Korea later this month, his agent told Reuters yesterday, rebuffing media reports that the world's fastest man had canceled his Asian trip.

"I have informed both organizers in Shanghai and South Korea that we will continue to analyze his performance until after the world athletics final (in Thessaloniki, Greece on Sunday), and see how he is," Ricky Simms said in a telephone interview from London.

But when reached by Shanghai Daily yesterday, the organizers said they had heard nothing from Bolt or his agent. They said the triple Olympic and world champion could face a large fine if the agreement is broken.

Bolt is scheduled to run the 100 meters in Shanghai on September 20 and in Daegu on September 25 after competing in the 200 meters at Thessaloniki.

The 23-year-old Jamaican said after recent meetings in Zurich and Brussels that the long season in which he broke both his 100 and 200 meters world records had left him fatigued.

"He's a jewel in the crown of athletics... he's the golden man... and hopefully can run for 10 years, so we don't need to over-race him this year," Simms told Reuters.

"Yes, he could earn good money (in Asia), but it is very important that he not overdo it this year."

The trip to Asia, if he makes it, would be Bolt's first since his eye-catching, triple gold performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in which he set world records in the 100 and 200 meters and led Jamaica to a world mark in the 4x100 meter relay.

Bolt shattered both individual world records with another stunning performance at last month's world championships in Berlin, running 9.58 seconds in the 100 meters and 19.19 in the 200. He also led Jamaica to the world 4x100 meters relay gold.

"We have been analyzing his performances and everything since the world championships - Coach (Glen) Mills and myself - and everyone saw he was very, very tired in Zurich," Simms said.

Bolt needed a late surge to win the 100 meters in 9.81 in Zurich on August 28, but the speedster looked much stronger a week later in racing 19.57 seconds over 200 meters in Brussels.

"He ran well in Brussels but was also complaining that it was very tough; he was getting tired," Simms said.

Bolt made obvious after Brussels what he would like to do.

"Oh my God, I can't wait. I'm really looking forward to going home," said the sprinter, who has been on the road since July 1.


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