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Race against time! Usain Bolt needs to prove fitness to qualify for Rio 2016

Usain Bolt withdraws from 100m final of Jamaican Olympic trials with torn left hamstring; needs to prove fitness by July 22 to qualify for Rio Games

Kingston (Jamaica): Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt is facing a race against time to be fit in his bid for an unprecedented third treble Olympic gold with the Rio Games just five weeks away.

Usain Bolt during his 100 metres semi-final heat, which he wins in 10.04seconds in Kingston on Friday. PIC/AFP
Usain Bolt during his 100 metres semi-final heat, which he wins in 10.04seconds in Kingston on Friday. PIC/AFP

Bolt withdrew from the 100m final of the Jamaican Olympic trials on Friday with what the reigning Olympic champion described as a mildly torn left hamstring. The prospect of the 29-year-old 100 and 200m world record holder, seeking his third consecutive Olympic titles in the 100, 200 and 4x100m relay, missing the Games will rightly give organisers and fans palpitations.

Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt posted this picture on Twitter of him receiving treatment on Saturday
Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt posted this picture on Twitter of him receiving treatment on Saturday 

“Athletes who are ranked/listed in the top three in the world for their event who are ill or injured at the time of the National Championships and are granted an exemption from competing at the Championships may still be considered for selection provided that they are able to prove their world ranking form prior to the final submission of the entries for the competition,” state the Jamaican athletics federation’s rules.

The Jamaican likely must now prove his fitness over 200m at the Diamond League meet July 22 in London to have a hope of running the event in Rio. That means a tight 20-day recovery period, something not lost on Bolt. Bolt later released a statement on Twitter which read: “After feeling discomfort in my hamstring after the first round last night and then again in the semi-final tonight I was examined by the chief doctor of the National Championships and diagnosed with a grade-one tear.

“I have submitted a medical exemption to be excused from the 100m final and the remainder of the National Championships. I will seek treatment immediately and hope to show fitness at the London Anniversary Games on July 22 to earn selection for the Olympic Games in Rio.”

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