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LONDON, Great Britain – Track and field legend Usain Bolt has issued a warning for countries to stop placing too much pressure on young athletes.

Bolt, who is in London for his final World Athletics Championships, believes young athletes should be nurtured into loving the sport, and not be pressured.

Some “countries and federations” according to Bolt are putting pressure on the young athletes.

“Everybody put so much pressure on these kids,” he said during Tuesday’s Puma Press Conference in London.

Bolt burst unto the scene in 2002 when he won the Carifta Games Under-17 200m title in Bahamas and followed up later that year with victory at the World Junior Championships in Kingston.

“I think I am one of the few athletes, maybe a hand full of us that can deal with pressure,” continued the three-time Olympic Games sprint double champion.

“At a young age its hard (to deal with pressure), because I have been there,” added Bolt while pointing out the expectation of Jamaican fans after his World Junior success in Kingston.

“All they wanted me to do was win, win, win, and then after I started getting injured they start really putting that extra pressure on me, and for me that was hard”

“In saying that, I just want to say stop putting pressure on the kids, let them develop, let them enjoy the sport,” he said in his response to a question about his opinion of Japanese sprinters.

“The more they enjoy it, the more they want to do it,” he added while pointing out that several young athletes broke down because of the pressure.


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