Jamaica's "Lightning" Bolt could match Lewis

Society Materials 20 August 2008 08:15 (UTC +04:00)

(Reuters) - Jamaica's yam-powered Usain "Lightning" Bolt hopes to become the first man since Carl Lewis in 1984 to win an Olympic sprint double on Wednesday.

The man whose father says owes his speed to the local vegetable has already won the showpiece 100 meters final in swashbuckling style, thumping his chest before the finish.

If he also carries off his preferred 200m in Beijing's Bird's Nest at 10.30 p.m. (1430 GMT) -- and nobody looks capable of beating him -- Bolt will not only equal the illustrious American.

He would also establish himself as the undisputed poster boy of the Beijing Games along with American swimmer Michael Phelps who won an unprecedented eight gold medals.

"I like to enjoy what I do," said the lanky Bolt, who breezed through his 200m semi-final late on Tuesday, playing up to TV cameras and taking a look round at competitors during the race.

"You can't be too serious in your job."

Bolt, who runs the 200m final the day before his 22nd birthday, faces a tough challenge though to beat Michael Johnson's 12-year-old world record of 19.32 seconds.

The Jamaican's best is 19.67.