Organisers may think the most closely-guarded secret of the 2012 Games is who will light the Olympic flame,but of far greater interest to the wider sporting public is the condition of Usain Bolts right hamstring. The Jamaican triple gold medallist from Beijing is the number one attraction of the London Games,but the question mark over his fitness has added an extra layer of intrigue to what is already an eye-wateringly exciting 100 metres race.
Bolt needed treatment for a tight hamstring following his 200m defeat by Yohan Blake in the Jamaican trials at the start of the month,having also lost to Blake in the 100m days earlier when he looked to be nursing the injury with a tentative start. He withdrew from last Fridays Monaco Diamond League meeting where he had been due to run the 200m.
Bolt then travelled to Germany to see German sports doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt,though his agent Ricky Simms said the trip had been long-scheduled as part of his regular prehabilitation regime.
The sprinter suffered with hamstring troubles early in his career,a problem linked to a curvature in his spine,and has to put himself through a gruelling conditioning regime to prevent any recurrence. He had a tight hamstring during the trials and thats why possibly he didnt push as hard as he could have, Simms said.
His coach decided that he needs to get a little bit of massage and treatment on that and rest up,and then train again hard next week so that hes ready for the Olympic Games. Bolt,like the rest of the all-conquering Jamaica athletics squad,is training behind closed doors in Birmingham,around 100 miles north of London,before moving south for the start of the track and field programme on August 3.
Bolt,who has been given a specially-made 7ft bed in his Birmingham quarters,will also be defending his 200 metres title and will hope to help Jamaica defend the 4×100 gold they also won in world record time four years ago. That programme represents a minimum of nine separate races in eight days and while some of the heats will be run on cruise control,the semis and finals will be at full bore. That is a punishing regime for a fully fit athlete but an impossible one for a sprinter with the slightest question mark over a hamstring.