Tuesday, 01 August 2017 10:44

LONDON 2017- Gatlin feeling like the Justin who won world titles

Written by Yahoo
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Share this with your friends

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn
As Justin Gatlin prepares to meet Usain Bolt for the 10th time in their 100 meters rivalry, the American says he is feeling like the old Justin when he too was an Olympic and world champion.

After a period that, Gatlin said, "has been the most difficult year for me because of injuries," the 35-year-old Rio Olympic silver medalist said he was ready for another run at the retiring Bolt in the London world championships starting on Friday.

"It is back to the old Justin, like 2004, where I'm with the pack and pull away at the finish line. That's how I won my gold," said Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic and 2005 world champion before a four-year doping suspension and the 2008 emergence of Bolt.

The injuries -- to an ankle, his calf and quadriceps and even his groin -- are healing and thoughts about facing Bolt one last time are on his mind.

"I want to be right there, running shoulder to shoulder all the way down to the finish line," Gatlin said. "Just fighting for it."

Only once, in 2013, has he got the upper hand -- at a Diamond League meeting in Rome.

"I have never been one not to believe in my own self," Gatlin said. "But at the end of the day I have to pay homage to him.

"I've got to give Usain respect because one of the best things about him is not only has he run fast, he runs fast at the moment when he needs to."

As in 2015 when Bolt fought off injuries to pip Gatlin for the world title, the Jamaican has not run especially fast this season, breaking 10 seconds for the first time on July 21.

That is no surprise to Gatlin.

"As a sprinter, a sprinter who has been on top of his game for a long time, running 9.7s, it takes a toll on you over time," the American said of Bolt, who will soon be 31.

"You're feeling your body. Each year you try to get back and there's a dullness. You've got to fight for it to get that sharpness back."

Gatlin is confident Bolt will be ready, though. "For sure," he said.

Should there be an upset and Gatlin come out on top, would he join Bolt in retirement?

"Let's see," the American said. "I want to be able to go out with a bang."

Two things tug at him to stay around until the 2020 Olympics.

One, if still running, he would like to dedicate the Tokyo Games to his son Jace, now seven.

Plus there is the burning desire to try another season or two when healthy just to see how fast he can run.
WATCH: Team USATF’s press conference for the IAAF World Championships Press Conference

Send us your stories


You can reach us via phone, email and website.
Or send us some message through our Contact Page.

200a Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JY
+44 (0)7961 169 933
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Looking for work?

Nuffin' Long TV has some of the most exciting opportunities around whether you’re a school leaver, a graduate or still studying. We perform at elite level with some of the greatest men and women in sports & entertainment. Click here for more info.

Become a partner

We produce and develop content from all elite sports, in all formats, across all digital platforms. As a digital content and media group, We specialise in connect brands with fans with a variety of media properties to engage a mass audience wherever they are and on whatever platform they choose, to generate new revenues for our clients. Click here for more info.


UKA Logo  thevoicelogoben tv