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Bolt quick on his feet

August 5, 2008 |  4:08 am

Bolt_500

BEIJING -– Usain Bolt said Tuesday it was 80% certain he would run both the 100 and 200 meters at the Olympics but added the decision would be up to his coach, Glen Mills.

Then a reporter asked Bolt why he considered it only 80 percent, since Mills had said a couple days ago the double was a done deal.

"That is the first time I'm hearing it,'' Bolt said. "It's the first miscommunicating I've ever had with my coach. I hope it never happens again.''

Don't get the wrong impression. Bolt quickly turned it into a joke.

"I thought it was 80%, but now I'm 100% sure I'm going to be doubling,'' the Jamaican sprinter said with a smile.

Bolt was speaking at a news conference staged by his sponsor, Puma, in one of Beijing's glitzier shopping malls. He shared the stage with a Scottish singer, Paolo Nutini, who is in town to perform a song called, "New Shoes'' for the Jamaican Olympic Team at a party to celebrate the country's independence day (Aug. 6).

Bolt showed off the new shoes, with gilded soles, Puma created for him to wear in the Olympics.

Bolt's favorite race remains the 200, even if he set a world record in the more glamorous 100 this season. He allowed that it "would mean a lot more to me'' to win the gold medal in the longer sprint.

-- Philip Hersh

Photo: Men's 100 meters world record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica during Tuesday's news conference. Credit: Oded Balility/Associated Press

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