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Bolt to run 150m race at Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana

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Associated Press
3/29/2013 11:43:20 AM
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- Usain Bolt will have Copacabana beach in the background when he tries to break his 150-meter world best in a street race this weekend in Rio de Janeiro.

Bolt will compete at a track specially built at the iconic beach on Sunday, challenging Antigua and Barbuda's Daniel Bailey, Ecuador's Alex Quinones, and a Brazilian athlete from a local qualifier.

The blue four-lane track is in the middle of the beach, with Sugar Loaf mountain nearby.

Oscar Pistorius was originally expected to participate to promote the 2016 Rio Olympics, but withdrew after being charged with the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He would have run against fellow double-amputee Alan Oliveira, who beat the South African in the 200 at the Paralympics in London. Oliveira will instead compete against American Jerome Singleton.

A women's race will also take place at the Copacabana track on Sunday.

Bolt set the 150 mark of 14.35 seconds in the streets of Manchester in 2009.

The event is part of Bolt's four-day promotional tour to Rio and is supervised by the International Association of Athletics Federation.

The Jamaican has been visiting social projects. On Thursday, he met with about 140 kids and youngsters of a program that gives them opportunities to train to try to become professional athletes.

Bolt, the first man to successfully defend the 100 and 200 titles at the London Olympics, said he will be back in Rio for the 2016 Games but downplayed his chances of breaking world records again.

"I am definitely going to be here," he said. "The record is going to be a little bit harder to break because then I will be kind of old. I'll be 33 but I'll definitely come and give a good performance, definitely."

He reiterated he won't run the 400 or do the long jump this year.

"Those events are out as far as I am concerned," he said.

Meanwhile, Bolt's agent, Ricky Simms, said in a statement to the AP that he was "having positive negotiations" with organizers of the London Diamond League meet to compete on July 26-27 but acknowledged both sides "still have some things to finalize."

The London meet, celebrating a year since the Olympics, would be one of his last competitions before the world championships in Moscow in August.

Usain Bolt (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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