Sprint champion Usain Bolt said he plans to retire after the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Bolt, who is world record holder in both the 100 and 200 meters, along with sharing the 4x100 relay mark with his Jamaican teammates, told a news conference today in Brussels he wants to add to his tally of six Olympic gold medals before bowing out.
“After the 2016 Olympics,” Bolt, 27, said in comments posted on the website of the International Association of Athletics Federations, track’s governing body, when asked about his retirement plans. “That seems to be a good idea, retiring when I’m still on top of my career. Now that I’m getting a bit older, I know that I have to stay injury-free, maintain focus and act responsible.”
Bolt, who was speaking before the Diamond League Meet in two days, won three gold medals -- in the 100, 200 and 4x100-meter relay -- at both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and last year’s London Games. He pulled off the same triple at the world championships in Berlin in 2009 and repeated the feat last month in Moscow.
Bolt set the 100-meter mark of 9.58 seconds and the 200-meter standard of 19.19 in Berlin. While the 100 record will be tough to break, he said he can challenge the 200 mark.
“The 100-meter world record is the hardest to break because it is more technical,” he said. “In the 200 meters, if I can master the bend and stay injury-free, there is room for improvement.”
Bolt will run the 100 meters in Brussels in a field which includes American Justin Gatlin and fellow Jamaican Nesta Carter, who finished second and third at last month’s world championships.