World record bait for Bolt as Olympic stars gather in Zurich
Aug 28, 2008, 15:40 GMT
Usain Bolt, from Jamaica, triple gold medal winner at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, signs autographs for Jamaican fans in a shopping centre in Zurich, Switzerland, 28 August 2008, ahead of the Golden League track and field meeting \'Weltklasse Zuerich, which takes place on 29 August in Zurich. EPA/EDDY RISCH
Zurich - Usain Bolt is back on the track at Zurich's Golden League meeting on Friday with the carrot of a big cash prize for another world record.
The Jamaican, who set world records in the 100 metres and 200 metres and was part of a third in the 4x100 metres relay at the Olympics, is running the 100 metres in Zurich and will be up against six other finalists from Beijing in the race.
In all 38 gold medallists from Beijing will be at a sold-out Letzigrund Stadium for the 'Weltklasse', the most expensive meeting yet at Zurich.
'I'm going to enjoy myself. There is always a great crowd in Zurich, one which presses right down to the trackside. And it's always warm here,' Bolt said when asked whether another world record was possible.
The 22-year-old broke his own world record in the 100m in Beijing, running 9.69 seconds but leaving room for improvement by celebrating before he had crossed the line.
Bolt will not only earn 16,000 dollars if he wins the Zurich race, but could earn an additional 50,000 dollars plus a gold bar worth 27,000 dollars for a world record.
'Yes, it was a long trip to get here, but I am not tired at all,' Bolt said. 'I've done a little training since I got here. I'm trying to get the blood pumping again in preparation for Friday evening.'
There are plenty of other athletes who will be going for the prize for a world record including world record holders Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia in the pole vault, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia (5,000 and 10,000m) and Dayron Robles of Cuba in the 110 metres hurdles.
Among other Olympic champions competing are Pamela Jelimo of Kenya in the 800m, Nancy Lagat of Kenya in the 1,500m, Dawn Harper of the United States in the 100m, LaShawn Merritt of the United States in the 400m and Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain in the 1,500m.
Meanwhile Jelimo and high jumper Blanka Vlasic of Croatia are the two remaining contenders for the 1 million dollar Golden League jackpot.
The jackpot goes to athletes winning their disciplines at all six Golden League meetings, and Jelimo and Vlasic now need to win in Zurich and the Golden League finale in Brussels on September 5 to claim the prize.
'The cream of our sport will compete in Zurich on Friday. We hope that, once again, we can live up to our reputation as the 'Olympics on one night',' meeting director Patrick Magyar said.