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Bolt of Lightning Strikes Brunel

Most experts anticipate that Bolt will break his own world records, in both the 100m and 200m events at Berlin, and he is certainly the competitor to watch at the event. The London based university provided the world-record holder with world-class indoor and outdoor athletics facilities, ideal preparation for a slightly wetter climate than the Jamaican is used to!

Bolt was accompanied by fellow Jamaicans Yohan Blake and Marvin Anderson as well as Antiguan rising star Daniel Bailey, the four of whom combined to run the 4th fastest ever 4x100m relay at Crystal Palace on 25th July.

The 'laid-back' style that the Olympic champion exudes on the track proved to be more than just an 'in competition' persona. The Brunel staff and students who worked and interacted with him around the University found him just as easy-going. However, the visiting school groups and athletics clubs who regularly use Brunel's outdoor facilities were a little less relaxed when Bolt turned up unannounced mid-training!

During his stay Bolt also found time for a relaxed question and answer session with seven rising sprinters, all students at Brunel. After a few pre-conversation nerves the students quickly settled into the chat and quizzed the star on topics that ranged from mainstream athletics to more light-hearted matters such as football allegiances and Caribbean cooking. Bolt was pleased to find that one of his interviewees shared his love of Manchester United, to the dismay of the Arsenal supporters in the group.

Bolt was also able to pass on invaluable advice to the upcoming athletes and became particularly animated in talking about the importance of relaxation before a race: 'I don't get nervous. Anytime you get nervous, you start to lose. I've done all the hard work and the preparation, so I'm confident. That's the key.'

These words of wisdom will no doubt be of use to Brunel student Perri Shakes-Drayton who will be joining Bolt in Berlin for the World Championships. Perri has been identified as 'one to watch' in British athletics and will be competing in the 400m hurdles and in the 4x400m relay. Her next targets are the European and Commonwealth Championships in 2010 ahead of the London Olympics in 2012.

View photos of the event on Flickr