The world’s fastest man Usain Bolt believes American sprinter Justin Gatlin still has a way to go before being considered a major rival, despite the American’s recent return to prominence…
“I don’t want to sound rude, but I think Gatlin had his chance,” Bolt told journalists in Italy ahead of tomorrow’s Rome Gala Meet, with a chuckle.
“He’s been on top, but to say ‘get ready for the Gatlin show’ is funny. There are a lot of other athletes. You can’t count out Tyson Gay, and Yohan Blake is back, so I think he has a few guys to get past before he should be worried about me.”
Gatlin dominated track and field from 2004-2006, claiming 100m gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and then the sprint double at the Helsinki World Championships one year later. However, in 2006 he was banned from the sport for four years after being found guilty of a doping offence. His personal best time of 9.77 set in Qatar in 2006 was as a result annulled.
The American returned to the sport in 2010 and claimed gold in the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul earlier this year. Gatlin then went on to run his most impressive time since returning to the sport, clocking 9.87 to defeat long-time rival and Bolt’s compatriot Asafa Powell by one hundredth of a second, in Doha, Qatar.
After defeating Powell, Gatlin turned his attention to the new sprint king, claiming that people will be glad to see him returning to challenge the sprinter’s dominance.
“They have watched the Bolt show for a couple of years and they want to see someone else in the mix as well. I’m glad to come up and step up and take charge with that,” Gatlin was quoted as saying after the race.
Source: The Star (Jamaica)