Bolt could break my record, says long jumper Powell

MUMBAI, (Reuters) – Usain Bolt has all the tools to  be a top-class long jumper but the Jamaican should wait until  after the 2012 Olympics to give the event a go, world record  holder Mike Powell has told Reuters.  

Sprinter Bolt won gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4×100  metres relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and has said he was  considering the long jump and 400 metres.  

Powell, who broke Bob Beamon’s 23-year world record at the  1991 World Championships in Tokyo, said he recognised Bolt’s  long jump potential in 2009.   
“I first talked to his coach and his parents in Berlin after  the 2009 world championships when we were staying in the same  hotel,” Powell told Reuters in a recent interview.   

Mike Powell

“I approached them and I said, ‘he should long jump’. They  said, ‘you know we are talking about that’. I said I would like  to be involved with that.”   
Powell said his own world record of 8.95 metres could be in  jeopardy if Bolt started jumping.  
“He could jump so far that it will be crazy. The main  elements in long jump are speed and height, which equals  distance. He’s got them both,” said Powell.   

“He will need the coaching and then the will and desire and  bravery to try it. If he does it, everyone will expect him to  break the record.”  
The 47-year-old American said the event would take its toll  on Bolt’s body if he started before the London Olympics.     
“I know for him if he starts to long jump it’s gonna take  away from his sprinting.  
“He is still very young. It takes a lot of wear and tear on  your body. It hurts your back, your knees, your ankles,  everything. It’s very difficult.  
“Even under the best circumstances, it will take some away  from his sprinting.”   

Powell was in India as an ambassador for the International  Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which signed a  10-year licensing deal with real estate company Nirmal Lifestyle  to develop infrastructure for athletics in the country.

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