BRUSSELS — Usain Bolt may go for four gold medals at the 2012 Olympics in London.
However, the world’s fastest man won’t be making the decision whether to attempt the feat achieved by Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis.
“For me, I don’t know,” Bolt said, when asked about the possibility of chasing four golds. “I always leave the decisions up to my coach.”
Speaking ahead of Friday’s Van Damme Memorial track and field meet, Bolt said if it were up to him, he would add the long jump to the 100, 400-relay and 200 meter sprints, rather than the 400.
In Beijing, his coach Glen Mills did not confirm Bolt for the 100 until the last moment, despite the fact that he was the world record holder. Of course, Bolt went on to win the 100, 200 and 100-relay golds, all in world-record times.
After a second golden triple at the Berlin world championships last month, Bolt could be the first male track athlete to earn four Olympic golds at the same games since Lewis at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Owens won four Olympic golds at the 1936 Berlin Games.
It would also place Bolt — who has declared his desire to become “a legend” — in the most exalted of company. Bolt said if he does decide to go for four, it would take meticulous preparation.
“You don’t want to try something new and then something goes wrong,” he said.
Bolt said he has such faith in his coach that he would go against his own wishes if Mills thought it would be better for him to tackle the 400 rather that the long jump. Owens and Lewis each added the long jump to their three sprint events.
Bolt already ran some 400s early in the season to boost his stamina for the 200.
“It really gives you speed and endurance,” the Jamaican sprinter said. “The 400 I don’t want to do, but I think I’ll do it in the future because my coach can be very convincing. And he’ll find some argument for me to do it.”
Bolt would prefer the long jump, relying on his natural speed to send him flying.
“I think I would be pretty good. I tried it when I was young, just messing around,” he said.
For the moment though, he’s focusing on the 200 at the Van Damme. He tried out the new Mondo track on Wednesday and wants to beat the 19.79 second stadium record set by Tyson Gay three years ago.
“19.70 is my goal on Friday,” said Bolt, who had a blistering run of 19.19 in Berlin to shatter his own world record.
Gay will only run the 100 because of a lingering groin injury.