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Usain - the answers

Tom Fordyce | 15:45 UK time, Tuesday, 14 April 2009

If you recall, a few weeks ago I posted a blog offering the chance to ask Usain Bolt any question you liked - as long as it was original, interesting and free of smut/libel/foolishness.

The responses didn't disappoint. Neither, I'm glad to say, did the fastest man in history's answers.

Without any further ado, here's the video of Usain's answers. The great man will be in the UK for the Great Manchester 150 on 17 May, which will be shown live on BBC Two (1700-1830 BST), so you can always try to catch him then.

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Here are the questions we selected to send out to Jamaica where the questions were put to Bolt by David Hart, of Nova International, which is staging the Manchester event.

David apologised that not all questions could be asked due to time constraints. The questions that were not used are in italics.

Betsenbell (putt snaa an it) wrote:
Usain, what was the last song you listened to before running in the 100m Olympic final and did this help motivate you to win?

hoskinsforPM wrote:
Have you ever been offered performance enhancing drugs and have you ever been tempted to take them?

ForestFanTom wrote:
If you hadn't eased up towards the end of the 100m in Beijing, how fast would you have run?

Silverfox1990 wrote:
Have you ever suffered from nerves in a race? If you did, how did you overcome this?

theSquire101 wrote:
If you had to pick three rules to follow to become a champion, what would they be?

Reddevilyardie (they say I'm a glory hunter) wrote:
How did you feel when at Western Champs 2001 I blazed down the track on the anchor leg of Cornwall College's class 2 4x100 relay team to pip you to the line while you were anchoring William Knibb in heat 2?

Sanjamaica33 wrote:
Do you think self-confidence is more important to success than all that physical conditioning and fitness stuff? After all we all gotta get our McNuggets.

jamesdibby wrote:
Who would be in your dream 100 metre final out of past and present athletes?

md_fan wrote:
What does a typical training day consist of for you?

bencedars wrote:
If you could do anything in the world other than athletics what would it be? And what would you consider doing for a living once you eventually decide to hang up your spikes?

singingHighlander wrote:
What are the main factors that set Jamaican athletes apart from the mighty USA and the former East Germany in the 1970s and 1980s? Is it just the beautiful island, climate, methods ... what?

dostioffski wrote:
What training drills and exercises would you recommend to someone looking to improve their 100m time?

AllanKirui wrote:
Have you ever had a time when your confidence was low? And if so, how did you come out of it and get to where you are now?

StaniArmy wrote:
Have you ever missed a bus?


  • Comment number 1.

    Why has David Hart backed out of asking the most important question from the selected list, namely the one about performance enhancing drugs?

    Doping is the most important issue facing top level sport, yet when the fastest man in the world is lined up for an interview Mr Hart "runs out of time" to ask the question he should have asked first.

    It is a legitimate question on a topical issue but instead of asking it we have to listen to meaningless guff about catching the bus.

    Until athletes and promoters start talking about the doping issue openly and frankly then, then sport is going to continue to be dogged by rumours and suspicion.

    What a disappointing kop out.

  • Comment number 2.

    More than likely that question was marked off limits by his agent/sponsors/whatever media guru was running the event.

    Sad, but a candid interview with a top sportsman is incredibly rare these days unless they're apologising for something.

  • Comment number 3.

    Red Devil Yardie not readyville lol!

  • Comment number 4.

    that's a shame.
    It could have been an interesting interview but when watching it - it seems like Usain Bolt doesn't really want to be there (or maybe he is just nervous). I saw quite a lot of the sensored comments from 2 weeks ago and it seems like a lot of people still don't have a lot of faith that sprinters can compete clean. It was interesting to see 1 of them mentioning that his 100m time had (apparently)improved by almost 1 second in a year - which makes his answer to the question about how to improve your 100m time puzzling.

  • Comment number 5.

    NNeveling...We all know the answer to the question anyway.
    Even if the thought flickered in his brain for one second he is not going to say yes. A poor question to get picked to ask him i think.

    Glad mine got picked though.
    Thanks tom

  • Comment number 6.

    Bolt was asked about drug-testing by Ros Atkins of BBC World Service around the same time.

    In that interview he talks about drug-testing in football and athletics and reveals he was tested three times in December.

    You can listen here:

  • Comment number 7.

    Yay my question was answered. Thanks Tom and thanks Usain, great interview and great interactivity there

  • Comment number 8.

    "I don't want to work 9-5 - that's not good." LOL...Great answer...

  • Comment number 9.

    Dear Tom, in response to your intro above, I thought some of the questions WERE disappointing (and I wish I had posted mine before the blog closed). Also, perhaps Usain's answers might have been more satisfying if he had been shown the questions in advance - so that it would not just be 'off-the-top-of-the-head' stuff. Cheers.

  • Comment number 10.

    The national mentality here doesn't "big up" winners. Honeyghan, Hamilton compared to Bruno, Coulthard.
    I think the Jamaican annual Champs isn't something many people here know about.
    To query jamaican's excelling in one area, sprints, is as odd as questioning brasilians excelling at football. It's what we do.
    It's the first male Jamaican Olympic 100m champ (we've been close before, Lennox Miller, Don Q), have been more into the 200m, 400m. However, the bigger picture is that there is a breadth of athletes from a young age that compares favorably with any nation...some get burnt out in the US Collegiate system.
    No-one quibbles how are the brits so good at rowing their boats.
    I'm only surprised that people are surprised about Jamaica. The World Athletics Champs, the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, it's there for all to see.
    It's not like we've suddenly produced pole vaulters, swimmers, tennis stars and so on - we produce sprinters.
    Everyone's got a niche...something that intersts them...and the harder you train the "luckier" you become to paraphrase a famous golfer.

    "Last year Jazeel Murphy, aged 15, ran 100m in 10.42sec. Compare that time to Mark Lewis Francis's English schools record of 10.93sec – also aged 15 – and you begin to understand the depth of talent Jamaica has waiting in the wings. Dexter Lee, the current world junior champion over 100m, last night won the senior boys' race in 10.35 seconds, and there are others, such as Yohan Blake, 19, – a former Champs record holder – who now trains with Bolt and claims to be running under 10 seconds in practice."

    (From "Observer" of the 5th.)
    One love.

  • Comment number 11.

    Thanks for posting my question! yay! and he gave a nice answer as well!

  • Comment number 12.


    Would you be convinced that Bolt has never tried performance enhancing drugs if he answered in the negative each time he was asked the question in an interview. I think not, so why should he be consistently badgered with a question that only seek to tarnish the outcome of his hard-work and natural ability. The hypocrites who continue to question the sprint King only do so out of jealousy rather than reason and persuasion. If you hypocrites really wanted to know the truth, you would scrutinize his background which inadvertently puts his achievement into context. Bolt has defied athletics coaching which presumed that athletes needed a low centre of gravity to run fast, a theory that was mainly based on body mechanics and stride turnover rates. Bolt has dispelled this myth by demonstrating that a tall person who runs fast at an early age can eventually maintain a centre of gravity that enable fast running and then develop the technical abilities required for setting world record times. If more tall sprinters do not emerge over time as a result of Bolt's exploits, then I will accept that his was a freak of nature and that the coaches were right. Afterall, there are exceptions to every rule.


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