André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Jamaica's Olympic male captain Michael Frater has backed triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt to once again dominate the sprints at the Olympic Games and has dismissed the threat of hard-talking American sprinter Justin Gatlin.
Frater, who has a personal best of 9.88 over 100m, is expected to team up with Bolt, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell in the men's 4x100m, and believes that the triple world record holder will be hard to beat in London, despite his recent losses to Blake and the concerns over his fitness.
"I wouldn't bet against Bolt," Frater said. "He is special."
Gatlin has been quite vocal in recent times, pointing out his belief that he is in shape to get the better of the big Jamaican in London.
However, at a press conference yesterday following the Jamaican Olympic team's 'Open Day' at the University of Birmingham, Frater downplayed the threat of Gatlin, the US champion, and also made it clear that the entire Jamaican team is extremely motivated and looking forward to a special Olympic Games.
"Most of us have been here and done all of this before," Frater said. "We know how it is to excel and to come out on top, we just have to go out there and have fun.
"If you run under too much pressure, more than likely it will work against you. We work hard and put in a lot of effort in training and so we know what we can do, so for us it's just to go out there on the track, execute and have fun while doing it," said Frater.
Frater, who twice helped Jamaica to 4x100m relay world records and who won a silver medal in the 100m at the 2005 IAAF Word Championships in Athletics, will be travelling to London as a member of the sprint relay pool.
He, however, pointed out that himself and his teammates never go into a race looking for a record, underlining that winning the gold medal is always the priority.
"We never go out there thinking about records, we look for victory first," said Frater, when asked if he believes that Jamaicans can lower their 37.04 world record. "We go to execute the race, a gold medal is what we try to secure first, and if the world record comes, then it comes."