Tag Archives: fastest

Cristiano Ronaldo runs nearly as fast as Usain Bolt over 100m

Lightning Bolt! Ronaldo show his speed by running 96 metres in 10 seconds… only to hit the post

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UPDATED:

13:22 GMT, 3 December 2012

Usain Bolt eat your heart out. The fastest man in the world might have six Olympic gold medals after defending his titles in London this year, but we bet he can’t do this in a pair of boots.

This video shows Cristiano Ronaldo covering 96 metres of the pitch in only 10 seconds against Atletico Madrid on Saturday. Count them. We knew he was fast, but we never knew he was that fast.

Although he is some way off Bolt’s world record, it is worth remembering he has a standing start with no sprint block that athletes use, he is running on grass and in boots, he is concentrating on the movement of the ball (and slows down to prepare to shoot), and he has already run about 7km during the game.

Scroll down to watch the video

Getting on the end of it: Cristiano Ronaldo sprints 96 metres in 10 seconds to get on the end of a ball that hits the post

Getting on the end of it: Cristiano Ronaldo sprints 96 metres in 10 seconds to get on the end of a ball that hits the post

Missing out: Ronaldo reacts after seeing his shot hit the post

Missing out: Ronaldo reacts after seeing his shot hit the post

Sadly, he hits the post, but it is nonetheless hugely impressive to maintain that speed over such a distance.

Despite Real’s 2-0 victory on Saturday night over their near neighbours Atletico, their local rivals remain five points ahead and arch-rivals Barcelona to establish an 11-point lead over Mourinho’s men.

Mourinho was jeered by sections of the crowd in last Tuesday’s Copa del Rey defeat of Alcoyano, prompting the former Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan boss to offer supporters the chance to vent their frustration by arranging to come to the side of the pitch 40 minutes before the Atletico game.

Sprint king: Usain Bolt won gold in the 100m at the London 2012 Olympics

Sprint king: Usain Bolt won gold in the 100m at the London 2012 Olympics

Out in front: Bolt won the 100m in a time of 9.63 seconds

Out in front: Bolt won the 100m in a time of 9.63 seconds

The reaction was mixed but with less than 5,000 fans inside the Bernabeu at the time, it offered little indication as to how the majority were feeling.

Nevertheless, it is now being speculated that Mourinho and Madrid president Florentino Perez have agreed his tenure at the club will come to an end next summer.

Steven Finn fit to face India as England contemplate omitting Stuart Broad for third Test

Finn champing at bit to face India as England contemplate omitting Broad for third Test

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UPDATED:

09:08 GMT, 3 December 2012


Bowled over: Finn is ready and raring to go for the third Test in Kolkata

Bowled over: Finn is ready and raring to go for the third Test in Kolkata

Steven Finn has described himself as 'ready to go' as England consider whether to drop vice-captain Stuart Broad ahead of Wednesday's crucial third Test in Kolkata.

Finn, who picked up a thigh injury after bowling only four overs on the opening day of the tour in Mumbai, came through a workout in the Eden Gardens nets this morning, and is set to share new-ball duties with Jimmy Anderson.

'I did exactly what I planned to do today,' he said. 'I bowled six overs in two spells – four and two. And I bowled well and I feel that if I'm needed on Wednesday I'll be ready to go.'

The inclusion of Finn would be bad news for Broad, whose combined figures in the Ahmedabad and Mumbai Tests were a disappointing 36-2-157-0.

England's Twenty20 captain has not been dropped from the Test side since the previous full tour of India, four years ago, when he was left out of the game at Chennai.

'It's difficult as a bowler,' said Finn. 'There's no hiding place, and you have to keep running in. But Broady's an exceptional bowler. He's played 50-odd Test matches, so he's a world-class player and we’ll know he’ll come back, definitely.'

Following their stunning 10-wicket in at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, England are keen to keep India on the canvas.

Sitting it out Broad may miss out after failing to take a wicket all series

Sitting it out Broad may miss out after failing to take a wicket all series

And, as fast-bowling coach David Saker
intimated last week when he spoke of Finn's X-factor, that involves
enacting their original plan of hitting the hosts with their fastest
bowler.

'It's definitely encouraging for the bowling coach to be saying that about you,’ said Finn. 'I feel in good rhythm coming into it. I had a run-out the other day in Navi Mumbai with the Performance Programme, and I feel in a good place.

'The injury was majorly disappointing.
I’ve never had that feeling of something popping before. It was alien to
me, as well as scary and frustrating knowing I had a chance of playing
in that first Test match.

Picture dispute

We are unable to carry live pictures from England's tour of India due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

'But I’ve had a little bit of time out, and I feel fresh for it. You can put a positive spin on it, and say my body’s had a chance of recovering from the English season and the Twenty20 World Cup. I can’t feel the injury at all now.'

And Finn, whose 16 Tests have brought him 66 wickets at the useful average of 28, is determined not to endure a repeat of his Mumbai experience, where his participation in the Performance Programme match meant he could follow events an hour away at the Wankhede only on TV.

'It was difficult knowing that the lads were there in Mumbai celebrating the win and being together, and I was on the other side of town watching it on TV.

'It was a strange sort of feeling, and something I didn’t particularly enjoy missing out on. I’m keen to get in on the act if it happens in this game.'

Andy Flower takes the blame for getting Test selection wrong

Flower takes heat off Cook by saying: I'm to blame for Monty error

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UPDATED:

00:26 GMT, 21 November 2012

Andy Flower has admitted England got it badly wrong in leaving spinner Monty Panesar out of their side for the first Test and insisted: ‘Blame me.’

The team director, who makes all selection calls on tour along with his captain, shielded new leader Alastair Cook from criticism by taking full responsibility for what may go down as England’s worst howler since calling up Darren Pattinson out of the blue four years ago.

‘With hindsight, yes, it was a mistake not to play Monty in Ahmedabad,’ said Flower after England’s arrival here in Mumbai for Friday’s second Test. ‘I didn’t expect that pitch to turn as early as it did. I certainly misjudged it.’

It's good to talk: Andy Flower speaks with Kevin Pietersen during England training

It's good to talk: Andy Flower speaks with Kevin Pietersen during England training

The chances of Panesar playing here were improved yesterday when Steven Finn was ruled out after aggravating his thigh injury. It is a big blow for England’s fastest bowler, who was expected to play a significant part in this series.

Ahead of the first Test England believed they were better off concentrating on their seam-bowling strengths but the slow, dry, dusty Ahmedabad surface proved far more conducive to the likes of Pragyan Ojha and Graeme Swann, who took 15 wickets between them in a match India won by nine wickets.

England will look at the pitch at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday before they decide if the time is right to pair Panesar with Swann in a match they have to win.

Set for a recall England captain Alastair Cook could be able to turn to Monty Panesar in the second Test

Set for a recall England captain Alastair Cook could be able to turn to Monty Panesar in the second Test

It is probable Panesar will return at the ground where he made his first big impression as an England player six years ago — but not absolutely certain.

The rebuilt stadium is now more open, with the Mumbai breeze assisting reverse-swing, and the pitch offering more bounce than Ahmedabad.

The feeling remains that Panesar, still a one- dimensional cricketer, is not a man in whom England really trust but Flower dispelled the strong suggestion that the Sussex slow left-armer blotted his copybook with his poor behaviour earlier this year on tour in Sri Lanka.

‘I’ve got no issues with Monty Panesar,’ said Flower. ‘He’s been working extremely well out here and he’s in good form. He’s ready to play if we want him to. He was OK in Sri Lanka.’

Finn was due to have a scan today on an injury he picked up fielding in a warm-up game here and England hope he will be fit enough to play for the Performance Squad in their first game here next week. If he is not then, sadly, he will be on his way home.

Sitting it out: Steven Finn is not fit to play in the second Test

Sitting it out: Steven Finn is not fit to play in the second Test

His absence means vice- captain Stuart Broad will definitely get a chance to prove that his poor performance in the first Test was an aberration but there was a warning for Broad yesterday about the dangers of Twitter.

The spiky Broad had clashed with Sir Ian Botham after England’s greatest all-rounder called for him to be dropped for the next Test.

‘I’ve had a word with Broady about it already,’ said Flower. ‘You have to be very careful what you say on Twitter. With so many athletes using it and journalists watching very closely, it’s quite easy to write stories about some of the comments. It’s inevitable.

‘We have to educate our players on doing it the right way. In the main our guys are pretty good. I don’t think this is a big thing.’

Flower is likely to miss the one-dayers in India in the new year — a call that, given his workload, would be sensible.

Set to play: Stuart Broad will have the chance to prove his critics, including Sir Ian Botham, wrong in the second Test

Set to play: Stuart Broad will have the chance to prove his critics, including Sir Ian Botham, wrong in the second Test

He accepted England’s first innings batting in subcontinental conditions let them down in the first Test, as it did this year in the UAE against Pakistan and in Sri Lanka, but he wants people to wait until the end of this series before being too harsh on his batsmen. ‘Let’s judge at the end of this tour, not after one Test,’ said Flower.

‘I sincerely hope that at the end of this series we will have fought our way back and showed real skill against spin. I still believe our batsmen can do that. There might be a little more bounce here which would help our seamers and we’ve got to overturn what seems predictable at the moment.

‘I hope there is no real reason why our batsmen should keep failing in the first innings. We have to turn that round and I’m as excited about that challenge as I was before the first Test. It will be really interesting to see if we’re good enough to do that.’
England’s reputation as a Test team of substance depends on it.

Adam Gemili top secret

It's top secret: British sprinter Adam Gemili on Messi, Morocco and making stir fry

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UPDATED:

22:31 GMT, 16 November 2012

Who is your sporting hero

Michael Owen. When I was playing football I thought he was such a great player and he was at Liverpool, my team.

What would you be if you weren't a sportsman

Something in sport. Hopefully coaching or teaching.

Which other sportsman would you like to be

I’d love to be Lionel Messi. He’s the best footballer in my lifetime and possibly ever.

Main man: Lionel Messi (left) in action for Argentina

Main man: Lionel Messi (left) in action for Argentina

Career highlight

Winning the World Junior Championship.

And the worst moment

Being disqualified in the relay during the Olympics. It was heartbreaking.

What's the best advice you've ever been given

Always be yourself.

Favourite karaoke song

I don’t do karaoke. I’ve never really done it so I can’t answer that . . .

Three most-listened to songs on your ipod

This Is War by Thirty Seconds to Mars, Rooftops by Lost Prophets and I’m Ready For You by Drake.

Last film you saw

Sinister. It’s weird and messed up.

Bookworm: Usain Bolt won another three gold medals in London

Bookworm: Usain Bolt won another three gold medals in London

Last book you read

Usain Bolt 9.58: Being the World’s Fastest Man. It’s really good.

Favourite pre-match meal

Chicken and pasta. It’s the best thing to eat before competing.

In a film of your life, who would you like to play you

I haven’t got a clue. Ask me in 10 years.

Can you cook Best dish

Yes. I make quite a good stir fry.

Favourite holiday destination

When I go back to Morocco to see family

What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought

Probably an iPhone.

Tell us a secret…

I do yoga. I find it helps a lot, with flexibility and peace of mind.

Usain Bolt"s secret to success: running up stairs

Sprint king Bolt reveals secret to success… steps! Not the cheesy pop group, staircases

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UPDATED:

21:53 GMT, 15 November 2012

The fastest man in the world has revealed his best-kept training secret — running up stairs.

Usain Bolt, who became the first man in history to defend his gold medals in both the men's 100m and 200m at the London Olympics, has tweeted pictures of him running up and down the stairs at his training stadium in his native Jamaica.

With the pictures, tweeted by Bolt to his 2.3million followers, the sprinter said: 'Another element of my training.. Steps'

One step at a time: Usain has revealed the secret to his sprint success

One step at a time: Usain has revealed the secret to his sprint success

One step at a time: Usain has revealed the secret to his sprint success

He then posted the video of his final sprint up hill with the words: 'Paparazzi run in on my training.. Lol'

Earlier this week Bolt was nominated for the World Athlete of the Year award by the International Association of Athletics Federation for the fourth year running. Aries Meritt and David Rudisha were also nominated.

Previously named ‘Athlete of the Year’ by the IAAF in 2008, 2009 and 2011, there was no surprise that the London triple-gold medalist was one of the nominees.

Bolt retained his title as the fastest man on earth by winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold medals during the London Olympics.

Bolt from the blue: The double Olympic champion during training in Jamaica

Bolt from the blue: The double Olympic champion during training in Jamaica

Bolt from the blue: The treble Olympic gold medallist at the London Games trains in Jamaica

He set a new Olympic record for the 100m with a time of 9.63 seconds and became the first man to defend both the 100m and 200m Olympic Sprint titles.

This year’s winner will be announced live at the World Athlete of the Year Awards, on stage in Barcelona, during a Special Awards Ceremony as part of the IAAF Centenary Celebrations.

Steven Finn likely to miss England Test as Stuart Broad could be fit

Bresnan on stand-by with Finn unlikely to be fit for first India Test but England ready to risk Broad

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UPDATED:

09:02 GMT, 13 November 2012

England are set to go into Thursday’s first Test against India at Ahmedabad without their fastest bowler after Steven Finn failed to bowl in the nets this morning.

Finn has been recovering well from the thigh strain that interrupted his tour only four overs into the opening day of the first match, against India A in Mumbai, but England’s medical staff are unwilling to risk aggravating the injury so early in a long tour.

Instead, Finn will target the second Test at Mumbai, starting on November 23.

Ready to go: Broad came through the latest net session unscathed

Ready to go: Broad came through the latest net session unscathed

But there was better news for Stuart
Broad, who remains on course to play on Thursday after emerging
unscathed from a rigorous workout in the nets. Assuming his bruised left
heel doesn’t flare up again over the next 48 hours, he will take the
new ball against India with Jimmy Anderson.

Finn’s place will go either to Tim
Bresnan or Monty Panesar, with Bresnan – the tour’s leading wicket-taker
so far with nine – favourite to play.

The extra dimensions he provides both
with the bat (he would head a strong lower order at No 8), and in the
field (he is a potential third slip) count in his favour.

But the pitch at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad was relaid recently, and is expected to take turn sooner than normal.

Panesar has taken five wickets at an
average of 26 in two warm-up matches on this trip, and his left-arm spin
could be useful against an Indian top seven that includes five
right-handers.

Big loss: Finn missed net practice today and appears set to miss out

Big loss: Finn missed net practice today and appears set to miss out

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior later
agreed that Finn’s chances of recovering sufficiently from the thigh
strain he suffered two weeks ago might have receded.

'The
one thing you would say is, if there was a realistic chance of Finny
playing, then he probably would have had a long bowl today,' said Prior.

He
was more equivocal thereafter, but it nonetheless seems probable that
England feel unable to risk the match fitness of two fast bowlers in a
three-man pace attack and have decided Broad is their best bet.

'We’ll see how he comes in tomorrow – they might be saving it,' Prior added of Finn.

'With an injury like this, every day counts.

Obvious candidate: Tim Bresnan could complete England's attack

Obvious candidate: Tim Bresnan could complete England's attack

'He looks good, feels good; it’s coming along brilliantly. So we’ll just have to wait and see.'

If
Finn has run out of time, Prior concedes the situation is not ideal –
but he is confident England have the resources to cover the tall fast
bowler’s absence.

'It’s a setback. I’m sure coach and captain would want to be able to choose from every player that’s out here.

'But we have a lot of strength and depth in the squad. It’s one thing that’s made our squad so strong over the last couple of years.

'If Finny’s not available, there’s another guy that can step in and do as good a job – that’s the way we look at it.'

Tim Bresnan is the obvious candidate to complete England’s pace attack, alongside Broad and James Anderson.

Confident: Matt Prior (left) is sure England will have enough to overcome India with or without Finn

Confident: Matt Prior (left) is sure England will have enough to overcome India with or without Finn

Steven Finn back in the nets as he builds up to first Test

In like Finn – our fastest bowler is back in the nets and may be fit for first Test

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UPDATED:

02:37 GMT, 10 November 2012

Steven Finn’s hopes of playing in the first Test against India received a boost when he bowled off his full run-up for the first time since injuring his thigh on the opening day of the tour.

England have been talking down the chances of their fastest bowler recovering for the Ahmedabad Test, starting on Thursday. But Finn could yet make a surprise appearance after sending down three overs in the nets.

'It’s a massive boost for us,’ said Tim Bresnan, who took two wickets as Haryana closed on 172 for four as England’s bowlers were stopped by an unforgiving pitch — and a langur monkey.

Water boy: Steven Finn bowled in the nets off a full run up as he builds up his fitness ahead of the first test

Water boy: Steven Finn bowled in the nets off a full run up as he builds up his fitness ahead of the first test

'You throw someone like Steve Finn in there, who is bowling 90mph-plus consistently, and getting bounce and lift. He would probably get in any side in the world at the minute.’

Stuart Broad continues to rest his bruised left heel, while Graeme Swann is expected back in India on Sunday after flying home to be with his unwell baby daughter, Charlotte.

With Jimmy Anderson rested from this four-day practice match, England’s second-string attack toiled on the flattest of surfaces, and were granted light relief only when the monkey held up play for a couple of minutes.
Staking a claim: Bresnan took two wickets to keep in contention

Staking a claim: Bresnan took two wickets to keep in contention

Staking a claim: Bresnan took two wickets to keep in contention

Bresnan alone advanced much of a case
for Test selection, bouncing out Haryana opener Nitin Saini, then
removing Abhimanyu Khod after a smart slip catch by Jonathan Trott.

Meanwhile, Matt Prior rushed from the
field after lunch with a stomach upset, but Alastair Cook’s request to
replace him behind the stumps with Jonny Bairstow was first turned down
by the umpires and match referee. But Prior was relieved of his duties
after the BCCI gave the match referee permission to grant England’s
request – thus averting a diplomatic incident only six days from the
first Test.

Late arrival: Meaker played his first game of the tour

Late arrival: Meaker played his first game of the tour

Earlier, Samit Patel continued his
fine form with the bat to make 66, but his wicket was part of a late
England slide of five for 14, encouraging rookie off-spinner Jayant
Yadav to claim the tourists had looked ‘very uncomfortable against spin’
— despite making 521.

But since England had lost eight wickets to Yadav
and leg-spinner Amit Mishra, and only one – at a cost of 332 runs – to
Haryana’s four seamers, his point may not have been quite as ridiculous
as it sounded.

Controversy: Cook (left) was originally told that Prior (right) could not leave the field

Controversy: Cook (left) was originally told that Prior (right) could not leave the field

OI, I’m the king of the swingers…

Jimmy Anderson has a new rival as our swing bowler — a langur monkey who took to the field in Ahmedabad to ape the King of Swing in his absence and make a cheeky play for his spot in the England attack. Sadly, the jungle VIP’s run-up failed to chimpress the watching England coach Andy Flower. Still, close but no banana…

King of the swingers: The presence of a langur monkey stops play in Ahmedabad

King of the swingers: The presence of a langur monkey stops play in Ahmedabad

King of the swingers: The presence of a langur monkey stops play in Ahmedabad

King of the swingers: The presence of a langur monkey stops play in Ahmedabad
'You
Monkey business: The animal stole the headlines on an unremarkable day

Monkey business: The animal stole the headlines on an unremarkable day

Fernando Alonso defiant on title hopes as Ferrari look to improved race pace to upset Red Bull in India

Alonso defiant on title hopes as Ferrari hope improved race pace can upset Red Bull in India

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UPDATED:

11:41 GMT, 27 October 2012

Fernando Alonso insists his belief is unshakeable that he can still win this year's Formula One world title.

Alonso heads into the Indian Grand Prix six points adrift of Sebastian Vettel following a run of three successive victories for the reigning double world champion.

To underline Red Bull's current dominance, the Milton Keynes-based team locked out the front row of the grid at the Buddh International Circuit, doing so for the third consecutive race for the first time in their history.

Title charge: Fernando Alonso is second in the drivers' championship with four races to go

Title charge: Fernando Alonso is second in the drivers' championship with four races to go

Vettel clinched the 35th pole of his F1 career, finishing 0.044 seconds ahead of Webber, with Alonso fifth behind an all-McLaren second row spearheaded by Lewis Hamilton.

Championship standings

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 215
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 209
3 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 167
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 153
5 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 152
6 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 131

With Vettel and Red Bull in such imperious form, there appears no stopping the 24-year-old German and the team in their bid for more glory.

Asked whether he felt the championship was slipping away in the face of Red Bull's superiority, Alonso said: 'Not at all. Of course, it's more challenging for us, but I'm 100 per cent confident we will fight for the championship and we will win it.

'Red Bull are dominant on Saturday, they have the fastest car, but on Sundays our pace improves a little.

'If you look at the last race in Korea we put pressure on Webber in particular, so let's wait for tomorrow.

'I feel we can have a good race, that we can score some good points, hopefully more than Sebastian, and then in the final races be more competitive.

'The first target is to finish in front of them tomorrow, and I feel we have a chance to do it.'

In the shade: Alonso goes into the Indian GP six points behind Sebastian Vettel

In the shade: Alonso goes into the Indian GP six points behind Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari recently blamed an unreliable wind tunnel and the data from it for undermining their own bid for success.

India GP qualifying results

1 Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull
2 Mark Webber – Red Bull
3 Lewis Hamilton – McLaren
4 Jenson Button – McLaren
5 Fernando Alonso – Ferrari
6 Felipe Massa – Ferrari
7 Kimi Raikkonen – Lotus
8 Sergio Perez – Sauber
9 Pastor Maldonado – Williams
10 Nico Rosberg – Mercedes

Alonso, however, knows he and the team have been fighting an uphill battle all season, not just in recent weeks when Vettel has assumed control.

'We are improving our car, making it faster, not just for this race but the last few grands prix. This happens at every team,' said Alonso.

'But when you are not the fastest you need to put something big on the car, you need a big upgrade, and what we have here in India is a small upgrade.

'We are waiting for some new parts for the final few races, and then hopefully we'll be close to Red Bull who, at the moment, are very dominant.

'But it's been the general situation all year, and not just the last four races, that the wind tunnel has not been giving us the right information and we have lost pace.

'We were off the pace in February, off the pace in July and off the pace in September. We're more or less consistent.'

Usain Bolt vows to defend Olympic sprint titles at Rio 2016

Bolt rules out switching to 400m by vowing to defend Olympic sprint titles at Rio 2016

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UPDATED:

14:50 GMT, 8 October 2012

Usain Bolt has revealed he plans to defend his Olympic sprint titles in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and not switch disciplines.

The Jamaican declared himself a 'living legend' after retaining his 100 and 200 metres crowns in London this summer, as well as being a member of his country's victorious 4x100m relay team.

He has previously hinted he could seek a new challenge in Rio, saying he wanted to have a go at the long jump, while he has continually been linked with the 400m, despite repeatedly insisting he does not want to step up in distance.

Vow: Bolt speaks in Auckland, New Zealand on Monday

Vow: Bolt speaks in Auckland, New Zealand on Monday

But, speaking on a trip to New Zealand, the world's fastest man confirmed his only intention is to go for a third defence of his sprint crowns in Brazil.

'Rio is about going and defending my titles,' Bolt said in Auckland. 'I don't want to try any different events at Rio, because at Rio I will just defend my titles to show the world that there is a possibility that I can do it again. To do the three-peat, that is the focus.'

Bolt's main focus for next year are the World Championships in Moscow and he claimed he would not be taking things easy now the Olympics are over.

Legend: Bolt won three more gold medals in London

Legend: Bolt won three more gold medals in London

Legend: Bolt won three more gold medals in London

He added: 'It's all about hard work. When I was doing great when I was young, people used to say I was fast for my age, but I have put a lot of work into since I was a senior athlete.

'I continue to work hard, continue staying focused and pushing myself so for me that's the focus right now to see how fast I can go and I definitely try to go faster each year.'

Bolt was also delighted with the West Indies' victory in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka on Sunday.

'I love cricket, it is my first love, but I don't play much,' he said.

Lewis Hamilton could return to McLaren after Mercedes stint – Martin Whitmarsh

Hamilton could return to McLaren after Mercedes stint, insists boss Whitmarsh

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UPDATED:

13:31 GMT, 5 October 2012

Martin Whitmarsh has not ruled out the possibility of Lewis Hamilton returning to McLaren one day.

Hamilton leaves the Woking-based team at the end of the season having spent 14 years with them since signing as a 13-year-old.

He will join Mercedes on a three-year deal, where he will replace Michael Schumacher, who announced he is to retire at the end of the season.

The long goodbye: Lewis Hamilton (centre) is chasing the title with McLaren before he jumps ship

The long goodbye: Lewis Hamilton (centre) is chasing the title with McLaren before he jumps ship

McLaren had been privately confident of retaining Hamilton's services, and the team have been left very disappointed by his decision to turn his back on them for a new challenge.

In McLaren's 46-year history as a constructor only one driver has ever left the team for another Formula One team, only to return later.

That man was four-time world champion Alain Prost. The Frenchman spent his rookie season with McLaren in 1980 but left for Renault, only to return in 1984 and go on to win three titles.

Hamilton had said earlier this week he would be prepared to drive for McLaren again one day and team principal Whitmarsh would not rule out the possibility of 2008 world champion Hamilton following in Prost's footsteps, although he acknowledges such a scenario is a long way off.

Speaking after watching Hamilton record the second-fastest time in practice for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix, he said: 'Yes, certainly, I think it is a possibility. But he is joining a strong team in Mercedes.

'I don't think he will be coming back any time soon, I am sure they have a good contract and they will want to work with him.

In gear: Hamilton in action during practice at Suzuka ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix

In gear: Hamilton in action during practice at Suzuka ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix

'I don't think Lewis' intention is to hop from team to team on an annual basis and I am sure that is not Ross (Brawn's) intention either, but never say never, as they say, and let's see what happens in the future.

'I think people want to talk about it a lot obviously and we are trying to focus on doing the job we are here to do.

'The relationship between the team and Lewis is a good one, it is a respectful relationship between McLaren and Mercedes as we are competing and we don't have a problem with anything that has happened with Lewis' decision or anything else.

'In the future – and I don't think it will be in the short term – who knows'

Even though Hamilton is leaving for pastures new, he and McLaren still have title glory to strive for this season. The Briton lies 52 points adrift of championship leader Fernando Alonso with six races remaining, including this weekend's race at Suzuka.

Whitmarsh insists the team are fully focused on delivering Hamilton a second title before he departs, and does not fear the 27-year-old taking any technical secrets with him to Mercedes.

On the move: Hamilton will join Nico Rosberg at Mercedes at the end of the season

On the move: Hamilton will join Nico Rosberg at Mercedes at the end of the season

'I think Lewis has been part of the team for a long time. I think he knows the people and what we are trying to do but I don't think there's any great secret in that, so I don't think it's a concern,' he said.

'I think if I was pursuing intellectual property from other teams, I'd probably be going for engineers not drivers.

'Lewis is respectful of the team and what it's doing, and I think he knows we're going to do everything we can in the remaining six races to try and win some championships and I think the best way to do that is to work together, be open and carry on as you ordinarily would.'

Hamilton enjoyed a positive day at Suzuka, taking the runner-up spot in both sessions, but is concerned at the pace shown by the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, who were first and third during the afternoon running.

'It looks very close but I am feeling comfortable in the car,' said Hamilton. 'The Red Bulls seem quite quick, I think I could have matched Mark's time, but if Vettel can do that time in qualifying it's going to be very close between them, and their long runs were very strong.

'But this is the best car I have had here for a few years.'