Long jump world record holder Mike Powell believes Jamaican Usain Bolt, whose dazzling sprints have seen him demolish the 100 and 200 metres world records at the world championships could jump nine metres.
|Mike Powell believes that Usian Bolt could be the man to break his world record [AFP]
Powell, whose world record of 8.95 metres has been standing since the 1991 world championships, said Bolt should try out long jump, a perfect fit for his speed and height.
"I can show him how to jump nine metres, for a small fee," he said with a grin.
"With his height (1.95m) he is the type who would scare me (as a long jumper) ... he is tall and fast. You cannot put into words how great an athlete he is."
Bolt is the only sprinter ever to hold the world and Olympic 100 and 200 titles as well as the world records over both distances simultaneously.
"We are dealing with a freak-of-nature athlete. He is off the charts," Powell said. "He goes to another level ... his pure athleticism is unbearable. He is destroying other athletes, making them look like kids."
Long held record
Powell's own record is among the longest in athletics with the previous record stretching back to Bob Beamon at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
"Usain is at a level no one has been," said Powell, who said long jump needed an athlete who would captivate audiences.
"When I competed I considered myself as an entertainer," said the American, twice an Olympic silver medallist and twice a world champion, who had a well-publicised rivalry with Carl Lewis.
"(Bolt) knows that everyone in the stadium is coming to see him. He knows he is special."
Lewis is proof that sprinters make good jumpers, having won Olympic golds in the 100, 200 and 4x100 relays as well the long jump.