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1ST LEAD Superstar Usain Bolt sambas his way into Rio Olympics By Alexandra Mayer-Hohdahl, dpa

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt kicked off the Rio Olympics with a bang Monday, vowing to better his 200-metre world record at a flashy press conference that ended with him dancing alongside scantily clad Brazilian samba dancers.

"[I‘m] definitely a sprinter first, but I like to entertain because that‘s what people come out and see," he said at the packed media event in Rio. "I try to entertain and make it different, this is why people love me so much and it‘s my personality, it‘s what I do."

Bolt is seeking a unique third sprint treble at the Olympics after winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m in 2008 and 2012. The 11-time world champion holds the world records over 100m (9.58 seconds) and 200m (19.19), both achieved at the 2009 worlds in Berlin.

Bolt said he is aspiring to set another 200m world record in Rio, despite struggling with a hamstring injury earlier this year.

"I really, really, really want that one. I‘ve always wanted to run sub-19," he said. "I think it‘s going to be a little bit harder because I missed out on the trials and a few weeks of training in the last part of the season. But you never know."

"It hasn‘t been the perfect season, but I‘m in much better shape," he added. "I‘ve been training well ... Things are going smooth."

Bolt said he has been teased by fellow Jamaican runner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce that she might beat him to securing a third Olympic 100m title in Rio.

"Every time we go out on the track, we‘re capable of creating history," teammate and former world record holder Asafa Powell said.

The Rio Olympics have been plagued by concerns about everything from security to polluted water, but Bolt said his experience has been "good so far" - other than for the fact that he had to buy his own television for his flat in the athletes‘ village.

Bolt, who will be turning 30 on the last day of the Rio Games - August 21 - reiterated that this would be his last Olympics.

"A lot of people are not happy, but sorry," he said. "I think this is the last one for sure. I‘ve done enough and I‘ve proven myself over and over again."

But he also professed that "athletics is my life" and that he would "miss just being around people."

Either way, don‘t count on Bolt to go quietly.

He walked into Monday‘s press conference complaining that people were not clapping loud enough, took a selfie in front of the wall of cameras and basked in a rap song performed by a Norwegian journalist professing his love for the runner.

He praised other sprinters such as France‘s Jimmy Vicaut, but also swiftly brushed him off: "He‘s not going to beat me."

A day earlier, Bolt had posted a video on his Twitter account encouraging people to buy tickets to watch him "make history" in Brazil.

"I want a full stadium," he said on Monday.

Athletics has been battered by a doping scandal that saw Russia‘s whole track and field team banned from the Rio Games. But Bolt, the global poster boy for the sport, said he was upbeat about its future.

"People should have faith because we‘re on the right track," he said. "We have to go through a rough time before we get to the good times, so I personally feel that we‘re going in the right direction. So in a few years, sports will be clean and everything will be great."

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