Lewis: Bolt encore unlikely
LONDON – Olympic legend Carl Lewis has cast doubt on sprint sensation Usain Bolt’s repeating as 100-metre champion at the London Olympics starting later this month.
Jamaica’s Bolt will start as defending champion in both sprints after dominating in Beijing four years ago.
Lewis, who won gold in the event at the 1984 Los Angeles showpiece and four years later in Seoul, said it was difficult for sprinters to remain in peak condition for extended periods.
“The reason it hasn’t been done is because it’s hard to stay at that level for a long period of time. People are always trying to beat you when you are a champion,” the American pointed out.
“[Yohan] Blake has beaten Bolt two years in a row now after the World Championships in 2011 and we don’t know what Bolt’s head is like when he loses.”
He continued: “It’s a challenge to win two in a row but history defines greatness. You don’t have greatness in your time – you are great because of history.
“We always try to predict which races are going to be great but you just don’t know and that is the brilliant thing about it.”
Chinks appeared in Bolt’s armour two weeks ago when he was beaten twice by training partner Blake at the Jamaica National Trials.
Lewis, a nine-time Olympic gold medal winner, warned about the hype surrounding Blake.
“I still don’t understand this Yohan Blake situation because one year ago I had never heard of him and now everyone is saying he is the greatest.
“But in 2004, I went through the same thing with Maurice Greene. I said then that history defines greatness. Maurice only won bronze [in Athens] and then disappeared. That is why I let it all take place because I know how quickly it can change.”
Lewis added that the 100m field was perhaps a lot more open than many were willing to admit. (CMC)