Usain Bolt has ended speculation about his track future by insisting he will defend all of his Olympic titles instead of switching to a new event.
Bolt, on a promotional tour in the Asia Pacific region, told reporters in New Zealand that he is determined to complete a "three-peat" in Rio de Janeiro in four years time by once again claiming gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4 x 100 relay.
"Rio is just to defend my titles to show the world the possibility that I can do it again," Bolt said. "It is all about going in and trying to defend my titles. I don't want to try any different event at Rio."
After dominating on the track in London this summer, just like he did in Beijing in 2008, it had been thought the 26-year-old may attempt a new challenge. His coach Glen Mills admitted he would like Bolt to move up in distance and try the 400 meters, while the athlete himself expressed an interest in the long jump.
But Bolt, who will turn 30 the day the Rio Olympics close, is determined to create a slice of history by becoming the first man ever to win three Olympic titles in the 100. Carl Lewis won in 1984 and again in 1988 after Ben Johnson crossed the line first but was kicked out in disgrace after testing positive for steroids. Bolt is already the only man to go back-to-back in the 200. No man has ever won three golds in the relay, where Bolt's Jamaican teammates Nesta Carter and Michael Frater have joined him in clinching the title in 2008 and 2012.
Bolt's decision means he will once again be firmly in the spotlight when the Games head to Brazil in the summer of 2016, and the announcement was greeted by delight by Leonardo Gryner, head of the Rio Organizing Committee.
"Everyone is fully aware that Brazil loves a party," Gryner told reporters. "And it is no secret that Bolt loves to enjoy himself too, so this is a perfect fit and everyone will look forward to seeing him in action."
In the heady days that followed his London exploits it was even rumored that Bolt may leave track and field altogether, with some reports suggesting he may choose to enter the entertainment industry or follow up on his love of other sports such as soccer and cricket.
However, Bolt is an athlete who lives for the kind of attention and pressure that only the Olympics can bring, as revealed by Jamaica's Olympic team chief Don Anderson.
"Usain is a unique athlete and he is the kind of person who responds to a situation like [the Olymipcs] in a different way to anyone else," Anderson said. "He loves the focus and the spotlight and it is wonderful for the world to see this great performer at his best."
Bolt is using the end of the sprint season to fulfill many of his promotional commitments around the world but has spent much of his downtime watching cricket on television and the Internet. He plans to celebrate with the West Indies team that won the sport's T20 World Cup last weekend when he returns home.
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