LONDON, England (AP) — Quick as can be, Usain Bolt is backtracking on his retirement plans.
Less than three weeks ago, the Olympic champion said he planned to stop sprinting after the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. But the Jamaican said on Thursday he was looking to extend his career by a year, meaning he could quit after the 2017 World Championships in London.
“I am definitely reconsidering,” the 27-year-old Bolt said while in London on a book promotion tour. “I think my fans especially have really voiced their concern about me retiring.
“They think I should carry on and so do my sponsors. I have discussed it with my coach and he says it is possible. We will see what happens, but it’s on the cards that I will extend it by one more year.”
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are not in his thoughts.
“It’s a long way away, but if I win the next Olympics I will have done everything I wanted to do in my career,” Bolt said. “So there would be no reason to continue.”
Bolt won the 100, 200 and 4×100-metre relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and again at last year’s London Games. He won the same three golds at the 2009 Worlds before repeating that feat in Moscow last month.
One target still is to compete at the Commonwealth Games for the first time, with the 2014 games in Glasgow in his sights.
“I have said to my coach that I would love to go to the Commonwealths,” Bolt said. “It’s something that I haven’t done before. It’s up to him, but I have said to him that I want to be a part of it.”
Bolt told the BBC later Thursday that he’d “probably” run only the 200 metres at the Commonwealth Games, should he enter.