Justin Gatlin ready to beat Usain Bolt
Justin Gatlin is gunning for gold having won the US Olympic trials.
In a result that won’t sit easily with the many anti-doping campaigners, the American pace ace beat Tyson Gay into second place in the 100 metres to make the London Olympics next month.
The 30-year-old tested positive for a banned substance in 2006 and was forced to serve a four-year ban from the sport. However, since his return to the track two years ago the 2004 Olympic gold medallist has been getting faster and faster, and he overpowered former world champion Gay to book his spot in sport’s greatest showpiece.
Gatlin’s time of 9.80 seconds was his best ever (not taking into account his now rescinded old world record of 9.77sec) and he’s now focused on beating defending Olympic champion Usain Bolt.
“A lot of people are saying the comeback is here, but I feel like until I make it to that podium at the Olympics and fulfill my dreams that is my goal,” Gatlin said.
Trials runner-up and US record holder Tyson Gay will forge a formidable partnership with Gatlin as the rest of the world continues to seek a match for the twin Jamaican threat of world record holder Usain Bolt and world champion Yohan Blake.
“We are definitely competitors at heart,” Gatlin said of Gay. “I am glad he is back, and I am glad he is healthy. It is not going to take just one person,” added the confident Gatlin, whose next race will be a rematch with Gay in Paris in July.
“I can’t say I am going to take down the world or the Jamaicans by myself. It is going to take an arsenal, starting with myself, Tyson, Ryan Bailey (third in the trials) and whoever else is going to step up to the plate.”
Gatlin had said previously the world might be ready to see someone else in the mix other than Bolt and Blake.
The remark brought a polite rebuttal from Bolt.
“I don’t want to sound rude but I think Gatlin’s had his chance,” the world record holder said. “He’s been on top, but to say ‘Get ready for the Gatlin show’ is funny.”
We can all expect the verbal volleys to get louder.