LORD Coe: Track and field needs Bolt to beat Gatlin in Beijing

TORONTO, Sporting Alert – The track and field fraternity breathed a sigh of relief when Usain Bolt finally delivered a sub-10 seconds at the London Diamond League meeting on Friday, according to Sebastian Coe.

The six-time Olympic champion Bolt, although stating that he felt in very good shape, was struggling to produce the times to back up his words.

However, it was revealed that his inability to run fast was largely because of a pelvic problem he had been carrying and he needed to cancel two prior Diamond League meetings to get his regular check up, which helped him on his way to producing a seasonal best 9.87 seconds, twice, in London.

Coe, who is one of the candidates vying for the IAAF presidency, admits the sport needed that from Bolt so he can challenge the likes of Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay at the World Championships in Beijing, next month.

American Gatlin has been having a phenomenal season so far and has recorded the fastest times in both the 100m and 200m on the year.

The 2004 Olympic 100m champion has dismissed all his challengers on the campaign and at the moment head to the world championships as the man to beat, base on his performances in 2015.

But the thought of Gatlin, who is yet to be forgiven for his doping offenses, winning the titles and taking the highlights this summer wasn’t a good feeling around the sport.

“The sport for all sorts of reasons needs Usain to come through in Beijing,” Coe said during an interview with BBC One on Saturday.

Friday’s race was Bolt’s first in six weeks and his first 100m since running 10.12 in Brazil in April and he looked very comfortable, especially in the heats when he ran his time in a -1.2 m/s headwind.

Coe revealed that Glen Mills, who is the coach of the sprint double world record holder, was happy with Bolt’s performances in London, as he feels this is where the Jamaican sensation needed to be at this point in time.

The 28-year-old said he wanted to run faster than his 9.87 secs in the final at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, but a poor start ended all hopes of that happening.

Still, he was happy to show his fans that he is on course to defend his titles in August.

“I felt good. My coach was happy with my transition, I’m feeling happy with my start and my last 50m was good,” the reigning world champion said.

“But in the final I got a really bad start, I kind of lost focus for a minute and I lost my form but I got it back at the end. So it taught me a lot, these two races.

“I wasn’t looking for a specific time, but I knew I could have gone faster if I had got the start I wanted.

“The key thing coming into this race was trying to get everything right on the track. The heats were good, but the finals not so good.”

Comments (11)

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