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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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Anthony Foster is a renowned Jamaican sports journalist, honored twice as the Jamaica sports journalist of the year (in 2004 and 2005). His journalistic achievements are globally recognized. Notably, he authored an award-winning article on Usain Bolt, the iconic 6-time Olympic champion, 11-time World champion, and record holder for the sprint double. This significant piece was published in the Jamaica Gleaner in 2004. Anthony's extensive coverage includes prestigious events such as the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016. He has also provided coverage for seven (7) World Athletics Championships held between 2007 and 2022, alongside various other international sporting events. Noteworthy mentions comprise his coverage of the 2007 World Cup of cricket and his cherished experience reporting on the 2004 clash between his favorite football team, Argentina, and the USA.


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