LONDON -- Usain Bolt has hinted that he might not be ready to hang up his spikes in 2017, after all.
Bolt stepped up his comeback from injury at London's Anniversary Games on Friday night, running 19.89 seconds in the 200 metres as he prepared for an attempt at an unprecedented triple-triple of sprint gold medals at next month's Olympics.
The 29-year-old has previously stated that Rio would be his final Games -- he turns 30 on the final day of competition -- with a retirement date set for after next year's world athletics championship at London's Olympic Stadium.
Bolt again said that was his plan Thursday but his mind may not be completely made up as, in conversations with selected media in the English capital this week, he suggested that he could be coaxed into competing in Tokyo in four years' time.
"My coach always says 'Usain, you can always go onto the 2020 Olympics if you want to,'" he said when asked by ESPN what would convince him to train on until Japan.
"This is why he tells me to stop talking about retirement, and just take it a year at a time. See how you feel every year, and see what you want to do.
"If at the end of the season you feel like, yeah, this is it, then you retire but let's not focus on talking about retirement because you never know what's going to happen."
Bolt has backed the International Association of Athletics Federations' ban of Russia's track and field athletes following allegations of state-sponsored doping and cover-ups.
His main focus remains on winning, but others believe his continued presence can shine a positive light on his troubled sport.
Bolt added: "You never know what will make me continue but I'm also going to take it a year at a time and we'll see how I feel and if I can motivate myself to go one more year, why not?
"The sport needs me, why not?"
It is eight years since Bolt exploded into the world's consciousness with his devastating success at the Beijing Games, but as he prepares to write his latest chapter of history, the Jamaican has bolder ambitions than merely securing three more golds.
The 200 metres is the event that Bolt values above all others, and he believes he can run faster than the 19.19 world record time he set at the world championships in Berlin in 2009.
"There's so much room for improvement on different days and [depending on] how you're feeling," he said.