Bolt could switch to long jump after 2012

BY foxsports • September 17, 2010

Usain Bolt is considering switching to the long jump if he retires from sprinting after the 2012 London Olympics.

The world and Olympic 100- and 200-meters champion said Friday he'd assess his career options after London, with an eye on finishing as one of the greats of track and field.

This month, the 24-year-old Jamaican told British media he'd like to pursue a professional soccer career and gave himself another four years in athletics.

"Definitely I will go one more Olympics ... and from there I will decide what I want to do," Bolt said Friday.

"My coach may want to go to another one but we will determine how I am going because I definitely want to retire on top," said Bolt, adding he wanted to emulate Michael Johnson's decision to retire near the peak of his career. The American great retired in 2000 after winning back-to-back Olympic 400-meter titles.

Bolt won three gold medals at the 2008 Beijing games in world-record time — including breaking Johnson's 200 time of 19.32 set at the 1996 Olympics.

In 2009, Bolt again set world records in the 100 and 200 at the world championships in Berlin.

"I asked (Johnson) why he retired and he said he'd done everything he wanted to so there was no reason for him to continue," Bolt said. "He was on top, so I'm thinking if I'm on top and I've done everything I want to do maybe I'll get out."

Bolt, who has also previously considered switching to the 400, said his aim was to put his name among the sport's greatest athletes.

"For me the aim was always to become a legend in the sport and, depending on my titles, I think they will make me a legend so I'm working on that and after that I'll try something new in the sport," he said. "I have said the long jump but I think I'll do something else before that.

"The long jump I think would be about a year before I retire because I think it takes a toll on your body."

Bolt was in Australia this week on a promotional tour for one of his sponsors. He cut his European season short this year due to back problems and plans to return to training in Jamaica early next month to start his preparations for the 2011 world championships at Daegu, South Korea.

In a BBC radio interview this month, Bolt talked about a possible career in soccer.

"I always watch those guys and I think I could be a professional footballer. I'll try that - maybe I could get into a good side or even an average side," he said.

In the meantime, he said he wanted to cut his world record in the 100 down from 9.58 seconds to 9.4.

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