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Soccer: Usain Bolt Trains With Mariners, Ready to ‘Prove People Wrong’
MELBOURNE—Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt eased into his first training session with Australia’s Central Coast Mariners on Aug. 21 and said he was ready to prove the doubters wrong by winning a professional football contract. Monitored by a big media pack, Bolt, who turned 32 on Aug. 21, emerged at Central Coast stadium with his prospective teammates, flashing a big grin as he kicked the ball around during a light session in the sleepy seaside town of Gosford. The eight-time Olympic gold medalist has been given an open-ended trial with the Mariners, who finished bottom of the 10-team A-league last season and operate in one of the country’s smallest soccer markets. There is plenty of doubt as to whether the fastest man on earth can reinvent himself as a top-flight footballer, and there was little to suggest from the closed session that Bolt would make the transition. The Jamaican showed a heavy touch at times through about 45 minutes of drills and was excluded from the main group as they played a half-pitch, eight-a-side match.