LONDON, England ● Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, plans to smuggle the skipping rope he uses to train into the Olympic stadium after an official took it off him on his way in to Sunday’s 100 metres final.
“I am going to do it tomorrow … I am going to stick it under my bag, bottom of my bag or something,” the Jamaican told reporters after easing through the opening heat of the 200 metres on Tuesday.
Bolt was also irritated when an official told him to “stay in a straight line” before his 100m triumph, the showpiece event of the Games, watched on television by hundreds of millions worldwide.
“Oh my God, why are there so many rules?! You can’t do nothing,” he said after his victory.
“It’s weird, some of the rules. I was coming in a while ago and I had my skipping rope in my bag and they said I can’t bring it in. I was like, ‘Why?’. ‘It’s just the rules’,” he added.
Games chief Sebastian Coe ordered an investigation and said skipping ropes were “not expressly banned”.
“I will look at this,” he said. “I presume the skipping rope was a warm-up aid so I will look at that.”
Bolt’s agent Ricky Simms said the skipping rope was taken from his athlete in the call room before the race.
“If it was taken away before the stadium, then that is not correct,” said organising committee spokeswoman Jackie Brock-Doyle. “If it was taken before he entered the field of play (track), then that is probably correct. We are still looking into it.”
Bolt had other grievances about the preamble to the 100m final, arguably the most high-pressure event of the Games, which he won with the second fastest run of all time.
“I was at the line and the guy was telling me to line up, to stay in a straight line,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Really? We are about to run and you’re going to tell me to stand in a straight line?’. It’s kind of weird, these rules, which doesn’t make any sense to me personally.”
As if all that was not enough, Bolt and his rivals also had to ignore a water bottle being thrown on to the track behind them just before the starter’s gun fired.
Bolt’s victory, in a new Olympic record time, gave his home nation of fewer than 3 million people an extra reason to celebrate on the eve of its 50th anniversary of independence from Britain.
Bolt’s Jamaican training partner Yohan Blake won silver and a third Jamaican, Asafa Powell, finished last after struggling with a groin injury.
Their compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown won gold and bronze respectively in the women’s 100 metres on Saturday.
Bolt, who turns 26 this month, has more than 714,000 followers on Twitter and is arguably Jamaica’s most famous son since the late reggae singer Bob Marley.
At the Beijing Games in 2008, Bolt won three golds – in the 100 and 200 metres and the 4×100m relay – all in world record times.