EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) - A proposed 100 meters showdown between co-world record holders Asafa Powell of Jamaica and Justin Gatlin will not take place at Gateshead, England, next month, the American’s manager said on Saturday.
``It’s officially off,’’ Renaldo Nehemiah told Reuters in an interview in Eugene, where the two sprinters are scheduled to run separate 100 meters races on Sunday.
Nehemiah said he never had a contract for Gatlin to run a 100 meters against Powell at the June 11 Gateshead meeting.
``Justin’s contract gave him the option of running the 100 or 200 meters,’’ Nehemiah said.
He added that meeting director Ian Stewart acknowledged the point but thought he had the green light to stage the showdown after Gatlin told Stewart last month, ``I’ll run anybody, anywhere.’’
Stewart then signed a contract with Powell to run a 100 meters , Nehemiah said, ``but he never had a contract with me for that.’’
A race between the two became a hot item after Gatlin earlier this month tied Powell’s world record of 9.77 seconds.
``I offered for Justin to run the 200 there, but that was rejected,’’ Nehemiah said.
I offered to have a similar two-heat situation like we have here (in Eugene),'' Nehemiah added after holding a meeting with Stewart on Saturday. He rejected that.’’
As a result, Gatlin will not run in Gateshead, Nehemiah said. ``There was really nothing else I could offer at that point,’’ he added.
Stewart was not immediately available to comment.