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Bolt aims to silence rivals

Published:Friday | May 1, 2015 | 7:20 PMAndre Lowe
Gladstone Taylor/Photographer Usain Bolt on the training track in the Bahamas yesterday ahead of today's start of the IAAF World Relays.

Usain Bolt says he is looking forward to silencing 'talk a lot' Justin Gatlin and seems particularly excited about meeting the American on the anchor leg in today's 4x100m curtain closer at the IAAF World Relays inside Nassau's Thomas A Robinson Stadium.

The men's 4x100m and Bolt, who also spoke of the homely feel of competing in The Bahamas, have dominated much of the discussion here and the six-time Olympic gold medallist believes his team is more than ready to defend their World Relays title and continue their dominance, after winning every Olympic and World Championships gold medal since 2008.

"Justin Gatlin is a great competitor. He's one of those guys that talks a lot and says a lot and it makes the sport interesting. I'm looking forward to running with him. It will be interesting. He's been saying a lot," said Bolt at yesterday's press conference at Atlantis on Paradise Island.

"I'm just happy to be back competing at full health, I've been training really hard, putting in the work and looking forward to these relays. I enjoy running the relays, its one of my favourite things to do. Track and field is an individual sport so any chance I get I always want to run with my teammates," Bolt added.

Bolt is expected to be joined by Nesta Carter and Kemar Bailey-Cole with Nickel Ashmeade and Jason Livermore expected to be drafted into the squad for today's heat with one eye on the final, which is set for 9:56 p.m. (8:56 p.m. Jamaica time).

Beaten by the US

A Jamaican team comprising Carter, Michael Frater, Jason Livermore and Asafa Powell were beaten by the USA (Mike Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Isiah Young and Ryan Bailey) at the recent Penn Relays but Bolt seemed hardly bothered by that defeat

"I'm never worried. I know that we are putting the best team that we have right now out there. I think its going to be much more competitive than the Penn Relays and throughout the season we will get even better and the World Champs again will be a showdown so I'm looking forward to this and let's see how it goes," Bolt added.

"I know my team will put on a great show, the team lost against the US at the Penn Relays so now its a showdown and I'm looking forward to it," said Bolt.

The men's 4x100m heat is set to start at 7:40 p.m. (6:40 p.m. Jamaica time) with the Jamaicans drawn in lane 8 in the first heat.

As is the case with the men's and women's 4x400m, the top eight teams from the IAAF World Relays 4x100m relays will qualify for next year's Olympic Games.

There will also be keen interest in the men's 4x400m, with the heats scheduled to get things started on the international programme at 7 p.m. (6 p.m.) with the United States and Bahamas teams jostling for honours.

The Jamaicans with Javon Francis, Rusheen McDonald, Edino Steele, Ricardo Cunningham and schoolboy Nathan Allen to choose from will be confident of their chances to upset the applecart.

The heats of the women's mile relay will face the starter at 8:31 p.m. (7:31p.m.) with the Jamaicans also looking to improve on last year's third place finish in the women's 4x200m final, set for 9:40 p.m. (8:40 p.m.). The Jamaican team will be selected from Veronica Campbell-Brown, Schillonie Calvert, Sherone Simpson, Samantha Henry-Robinson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.