DOHA (Sporting Alert) — American sprinter Justin Gatlin is warning Usain Bolt that he will not have his own way this season and he must expect a “good dogfight” in the sprints at the World Championships in Moscow in August.
Haven’t we heard this before?
The American sprint sounded warning last summer as well, but was well beaten by Bolt and his training partner Yohan Blake.
Still, Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion over 100m, remains confident that he is still good enough to get the better of his rivals.
Gatlin’s latest comments came after winning the men’s 100 metres dash at the IAAF Diamond League track and field opener in Doha on Friday in 9.97 seconds.
“I don’t turn up to races trying to be second and third, I train to go out there and run fast and be dominant in the race,” he said.
“You want a mixture of great athletes, you want to come to an event where you really don’t know who’s going to win. You want to go out there and have a really good dogfight.
“You’ve got to let him [Bolt] do what he does and I’ll do what I do. When we meet each other, may the best man win.”
Bolt opened his season at the Cayman Invitational on Wednesday night with a modest 10.09secs, but everyone knows that the Jamaican World record holder will deliver something special when the time is right.
Finishing behind Gatlin in Doha on Friday was his fellow countryman Michael Rodgers, who ran 9.99secs, the same time as Jamaica’s Nesta Carter, and he’s also looking forward to battling with the Jamaicans this season.
“Of course there’s a rivalry, we want to beat them and they want to beat us,” Rodgers said.
“We’ve got to even out the playing field.
“On any day you can beat them. They’ve got to tie their shoes just like you’ve got to tie your shoes.”