EUGENE, Sporting Alert – Sprinter Michael Rodgers thinks Usain Bolt should earn his place on the Jamaican team to the Rio Olympics, and he hopes someone will beat the sprint sensation and “puts him in his place.”
The American made the comments after hearing that Bolt, the six-time Olympic champion and double world record holder over the 100m and 200m, withdrew from the JAAA Senior Trials on Friday with a hamstring injury and has applied for a medical pass.
Several athletes have been commenting on the possibility of Bolt taking the place of another for the Rio Games, and Rodgers, who will be hoping fighting for a spot on the U.S. team at his own trials, believes Bolt should have to do the same.
“We have the toughest Trials in America. We don’t get a bye. We don’t have a medical exemption. I felt like it is a cop-out,” Rodgers said.
“He Should run just like everyone else.”
Rodgers added:”But at the end of the day, he is Bolt. He is the Olympic champion, and the world champion.”
Rodgers and Bolt have met 15 times over the 100m, and the Jamaican has come out on top all 15 times.
The U.S. sprinter hopes that someone will soon beat Bolt, the Olympic 2008 and 2012 triple champion, and “puts him in his place.”
“Until someone beats him, puts him in his place, he is going to continue to do what he wants to do.”
Meanwhile, Bolt’s American rival Justin Gatlin, who finished behind the Jamaican in both the 100m and 200m at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, last summer, also commented.
Gatlin said: “He is Usain, so we’re going to see his face in Rio one way or another. When you command a certain power in track and field, sometimes you get to exercise it.
“He is injured and he has a medical pass. That is what his country does. Our country doesn’t do that.
“You have to come to the line, come ready and if you are not ready that day then you’re not on that boat to get to the next destination which is the Olympic Games.”