Usain Bolt is sleeping in a custom made orthopaedic bed at his training camp to ensure he does not suffer further back problems which disrupted his preparations to retain his Olympic crown.
The world’s fastest man arrived at Jamaica’s training camp at the University of Birmingham this week, but before he laid his head, the sprinter’s coach, Glen Mills, asked for his bed to be replaced by a bespoke 7ft mattress.
Bolt slept in his giant bed for the first time on Tuesday.
The Olympic 100m and 200m champion withdrew from last Thursday’s Grand Prix in Monaco with a hamstring problem sustained during his defeat to compatriot Yohan Blake in June.
Zena Wooldridge, the director of sport at Birmingham University, said: ‘There was a fear Usain would be uncomfortable with his bed so in the last few days we’ve had a special orthopaedic mattress made for him.
‘Coach Mills wanted the bed made as a precaution so Usain was as comfortable as possible. We used a bed company to supply us with half a dozen 7ft beds for some other athletes so they made us the new mattress. Usain spent his first night in it on Tuesday.
‘It’s absolutely critical that the athletes are looked after while they’re staying in Birmingham so we were only too happy to help.’
The 6ft 5in world record holder of 100m and 200m has nursed a back problem for much of his career, and saw a specialist after withdrawing from the Monaco meet.
The Jamaican team are training in Birmingham until July 26, when the team of 50 athletes and 25 staff will travel to London in time for the opening ceremony.
The university have been planning for this period for five years now, and have pulled out the stops to make the Jamaican team as comfortable as possible pre-Games.
But there has been one shortcoming on the university’s part in terms of dietary requirements.
Wayne Willis, the site’s sous chef, said: ‘We’ve managed to source most of the food apart from a whole goat’s head.’
‘We asked the butchers we use but struggled to get one so we’ve used diced goat meat instead and there haven’t been any complaints.
‘We’ve also got about 95 per cent of the fruits and vegetables except for callaloo, which is a type of cabbage.
‘I’ve been working with a Jamaican chef, Thomas, who’s come over especially and we’ve really hit it off as we’re trying to meet the same common goal. He liaised with some of the athletes and the feedback has been very good.’
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