Usain Bolt won’t have too much competition at the world championships in Moscow next month, so he’s taking on a new challenge: learning Russian.
In the above Puma video, he inserts a language learning tape cassette following a workout -- where, of course, he’s wearing a Puma shirt -- and begins repeating Russian phrases.
There are the generic -- “My name is Usain” and “I am from Jamaica” -- and the slightly more interesting -- “My favorite color is gold,” “Have the other guys crossed the line yet?” and “Can you please hold my medals for a moment?”
The world track and field championships run Aug. 10-18. Bolt is favored to win back the 100-meter world title that he lost to compatriot Yohan Blake after false-starting out of the 2011 final. Blake and American record holder Tyson Gay will miss worlds due to injury and a failed drug test, respectively.
That leaves 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Justin Gatlin as the only man who has even a slight chance of beating Bolt. Gatlin did hand Bolt a loss in Rome in the spring, but Bolt has since run faster than Gatlin’s best time this year.
Bolt is an even more overwhelming favorite in the 200 given Gatlin isn’t running that event.
On Monday, Bolt responded to Mo Farah’s challenge to a race, but that would surely have to wait until after worlds, if it happens at all.