London: Andy Murray has vivid memories of Usain Bolt’s blistering 100 metres at the Beijing Olympics but the British number one hopes to miss out on watching the sprinter try and repeat that feat in London, by being too busy winning his first tennis gold medal.
At his Olympic debut in Beijing, Murray, who carried the Olympic torch through Wimbledon’s Centre Court on Monday, suffered the massive shock of losing his first round singles match to Taiwan’s lowly-ranked Lu Yen-hsun in straight sets.
“For me, the memory I have from the last Olympics in Beijing was watching the 100 metres final and seeing what Usain Bolt did there was pretty amazing,” he told reporters at a Team GB tennis press conference at the Wimbledon Olympic Tennis venue.
“I got to see the boxing and the badminton but that was because I lost early in the singles so I had some time to do that,” he added. “I hope that is not the case this time.”
At the London Games, the men’s tennis final is being held on August 5 — the same day as the 100 metre final — and on the same court where Murray was reduced to tears after Switzerland’s Roger Federer beat him to capture his seventh Wimbledon crown.
Murray, who is seeded third for the tournament after Rafa Nadal’s withdrawal through injury, has said preparing for the Olympics has helped him get over that defeat, which also continued the host nation’s 76-year wait for a men’s grand slam champion and the Olympics title would more than make up for it.
“In terms of achievement, winning a gold medal is the pinnacle of sport and would be right up there with anything I have done so far,” the 25-year-old Scot added.
With the tennis event kicking off on Saturday, GB tennis team leader Paul Hutchins said they were still to make a decision about attending Friday evening’s opening ceremony.
“We are just going to make up our mind once we have seen the draw to see when people are playing,” he said, sat at a podium whose usual distinctive Wimbledon Championships backdrop had been covered over with the London 2012 logo.
“There is this Olympic spirit among all the athletes and they are very conscious they want to go to the opening ceremony because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity
“But the first call must be, from the players’ point of view, their performance the next day.”