Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Bolt waves off Gatlin threat

Published:Wednesday | June 1, 2016 | 6:00 AMShayne Fairman
Bolt

Ahead of defending his coveted 100m title at this summer's Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, six-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt says he is not concerned with arch-rival Justin Gatlin.

Instead, the Jamaican considers the American, whom he beat over successive IAAF World Championships and Olympic Games, third in a line of sprinters he considers a major 100m threat.

Gatlin, the outspoken American sprinter, recently declared that he's "finally found out how to beat him (Bolt)".

Gatlin added that he and his American charges are confident of taking back the 100m title for the United States, once considered the sprint capital of the world.

"I'm going to win. We are bringing it (gold medal) back to the USA," Gatlin declared.

But, Bolt, speaking at the launch of telecommunications giant Digicel's Bring the Beat campaign at the Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel in New Kingston yesterday, countered: "How long has he (Gatlin) been saying that now?

"Every year he says that, so we will see, and we just have to wait.

"It's just something that he says every year, and we will see," stressed an ominous-sounding Bolt.

Bolt, who is seeking to be the first man in history to win the 100 and 200m titles at three consecutive Olympics, did reveal, however, that he considers Gatlin among his main threats.

"The record shows that it will be my fellow countrymen, Yohan Blake or Asafa Powell, and the United States sprinter Justin Gatlin, so either of the top three," he reasoned.

Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Bolt said everything is going fine, and he still remains confident of breaking his pet 200m record.

"I have said over the years that I would love to get the 200m record in Rio, so that's something I will be working towards," he noted.

"It's my favourite event, it's something that I've wanted to do over the years and run sub-19 and it's one of my goals ... so let's see what happens," stressed the iconic Jamaican sprinter.

Bolt recently opened his season with a quiet 10.05 seconds at the Cayman Invitational and 9.98 seconds at the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting less than two weeks ago. He says he is not disappointed with the times, noting that with more races, he will get faster.

"No, not disappointed, just that my execution wasn't perfect, and I am never satisfied when I feel that my execution is not perfect. I feel that I could have run better and I didn't execute well, so I am just disappointed with myself," he underlined.

Otherwise, he said preparations are going well.

"Everything is going on well, I can't complain. All I need is more races and I will get them leading up to the trials. After the trials, I will be in better shape, what I need now is a lot more races to help me to get ready," Bolt assured.