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Bailey: US sprinters want to get back on top

Published:Friday | May 29, 2015 | 12:00 AMLeighton Levy
American Ryan Bailey (left) celebrates his team's 4x100m win at the IAAF World Relays ahead of Jamaica's anchorman, Usain Bolt.

American Ryan Bailey believes his country's sprinters are focused on wresting back world dominance in the sprints from Jamaica. It's one of the reasons he feels his countrymen have been running so fast so early this season.

Bailey opened his season with a 9.93 seconds run for second behind Asafa Powell (9.84) at the Jamaica International Invitational earlier this month. It was Bailey's fastest-ever season-opener and it came a week after a US team of Mike Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay, and Bailey defeated Jamaica in the sprint relay at the IAAF World Relays in The Bahamas.

The sprinter, who, at 6'5", is as tall as Usain Bolt, said handing Jamaica a rare defeat and the fast times he and fellow American Justin Gatlin have run this early are indicators of the hard work American sprinters have been putting in to get back on top.

"I feel like we are all focused on dominating the sprint scene like the US has in the past. Asafa, Nesta Carter, Bolt, and Yohan Blake, they are all powerhouses, so we're trying to get that back and have that rivalry come back, too, so we're all training really hard and looking forward to the World Championships," said Bailey, whose personal best of 9.88 was run in a race in which he was second to Carter's 9.78s in Reiti, Italy, in August 2010.

 

HEALTHY SO FAR

 

Healthy this year for the first time in a few years, Bailey, who recently parted company with South California-based John Smith to return to his former coach, John Parks, said he has been preparing well with his former coach.

"Every year, my goal is to stay healthy because the last couple years, I have been plagued with injury, so this year we've finally got it together. I've moved back home and I am training with my old coach now. He knows my body really well, and there are plenty of doctors who know my body, so I think that has a lot to do with me being healthy. If I can continue that, then I am going to do really well."

Bailey competes at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, this weekend, where he could end up running both 100 and 200 metres.

"I am going to talk to my coach and see where things are at in training, but we've talked about doubling in both the 100m and 200m there, so that might happen," he said. "I need to run more 200 metres this year for sure."