The defending Olympic champion in the 100, 200, and 4x100 from the 2008 Beijing Games said Saturday that if he is fit and if Jamaica can challenge for gold, he wants a place on the long relay team too, even though he has never competed in the event at the global top level.
“If I can help to get them a gold medal, I will want to go on that team,” Bolt said.
The last male athlete to win four gold medals at the Olympics was Carl Lewis at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
Despite false-starting in the 100 meters at the world championships in Daegu, South Korea, in August, Bolt still dominated the competition, anchoring the Jamaican team to a 4x100-meter relay world record and successfully defending his title in the 200 meters.
He said he has already started his Olympic preparations at “high intensity,” fully fit after ending the season with a slight Achilles tendon tweak. Last year, back problems saw him lose part the season and forced him to lower expectations.
He has always been a credible 400 runner and said Saturday he wanted to contribute to the Jamaican team seeking to end a 60-year drought in the event.
Even though his personal best stands at 45.28 seconds, his manager Ricky Simms said he had run a 43 split with a running start in a relay in a minor Jamaica meet two years ago. The individual world record stands at 43.18.
When asked if he wanted to run in the 4x400, Bolt said: “I’ve expressed that to my coach. If I am fit and I think I can do it.”
He also won three gold medals at the Berlin world championships two years ago and now thinks he can top that at the Olympics.
“I definitely would want to try because if I do as well as in Berlin, the 4x4 would top it off and even make it a little bit much better,” Bolt told reporters ahead of the decision on the IAAF athlete of the year.
“I will probably be in good shape and I know the guys are really stepping up the 400 level in Jamaica,” he said.
The Olympic schedule would allow him to go for four golds, since he only would have to run the finals in the relays races. After the 100 meters on the third day on Aug. 5, he would not have another final until the last three days of the track schedule from Aug 9-11.