Americans disrespected me – Bolt
Andre Lowe, Special Projects Editor – Sports
The world’s fastest man Usain Bolt said he was pleased with his win in the 200m at the Muller Anniversary Games – the London Diamond League and had some words for those who have criticised his missing the Jamaican Olympic trials after receiving a medical exemption.
“For me I felt it was a joke and a disrespect at the fact that they think I would back out of a trials – me Usain Bolt who has proven himself time and time again that I am the greatest,” Bolt told The Gleaner. “I laughed when I heard it. I was disappointed, especially in Justin Gatlin”.
Bolt came off the turn in front and turn on the after-burners to stop the clock at 19.89 with Alonso Edwards some way back in 20.04 and Adam Gemili running third in 20.07. The other Jamaican in the event, Nickel Ashmeade was last in 20.51.
The six-time Olympic champion was forced to withdraw from Jamaica’s Olympic trials after straining his hamstring, while competing in the 100m heats. He would later run in the semi-final but sought and was granted a medical exemption by Jamaican authorities after his injury was confirmed forcing him to miss the 100m final and the 200m.
Jamaican selection regulations allow high ranked athletes to skip the trials if they are injured. They can, however, still be selected to represent the team but must prove their fitness in time – something Bolt certainly did here.
The rule frowned upon by some of the USA’s top sprinters including Justin Gatlin, Mike Rodgers and Tyson Gay. The USA selection policy dictates that only the top three finishers at their trials can be selected to represent the team.
“At the end of the day, when you command a certain power in track and field, you sometimes have to exercise it. I think that's what he's doing..” Gatlin said.
Still, Bolt says he’s focused on improving his execution as he continues his preparation for the Games.
“My preparation feels on track, I certainly feel better than I did last year so all I have to do now is just continue working and pushing myself,” said Bolt.
His previous 200m was in the final at the 2015 World Championships where he ran 19.55 seconds.