Gatlin for Lausanne

Gatlin signs-up for Lausanne to redress last year’s defeat
Monday 5 June 2006
Lausanne, Switzerland - Justin Gatlin, the Overall number one IAAF World Ranked athlete, will compete at the 31st edition of Athletissima, Lausanne’s Super Grand Prix on Tuesday 11 July, which is part of the IAAF World Athletics Tour.

The World and Olympic 100m, who last month sped to a World record equalling 9.77 seconds in Doha, Qatar on 12 May, so matching the world’s fastest ever time which had been run in Athens 332 days earlier by Jamaican Asafa Powell, has been in scintillating form in 2006.

Gatlin is now only the fourth male 100m sprinter to achieve an impressive triple by winning titles at the Olympic Games and World Championships, and setting a World record, with Carl Lewis (USA), Donovan Bailey (CAN) and Maurice Greene (USA) the only other such achievers.

Justin Gatlin winning in Eugene
(Kirby Lee/Image of Sport)

Five runs, five wins, five sub-10 second clockings in 2006 have made the 24-year-old Gatlin one of the most sought after athletes in the world.

Gatlin’s five wins at 100m in 2006
9.95 (-0.1) Osaka 6 May
9.85 (1.1) Doha 12 May - heat
9.77 (1.7) Doha 12 May - final
9.88 (1.0) Eugene 28 May
9.87 (-0.1) New York 3 June

Yet last year in Lausanne, Gatlin found himself upstaged by France’s Ronald Pognon’s 9.99 (1.8m/s) French record, with the American Olympic champion only able to muster third place in 10.03. An interesting return match is now in prospect with the Frenchman, who picked up a World 4x100m relay gold in Helsinki, returning to Lausanne on 11 July to defend his Athletissima title.

Ronald Pognon speeds to a 9.99 French record in the 100m - Lausanne
(Hasse Sjögren)

World champion versus Olympic champion – 110m Hurdles

A fabulous 110m Hurdles line-up has been put together. The reigning World champion, Ladji Doucouré of France, will race against China’s Olympic champion and co-World record holder, Liu Xiang.

Also in the field are three of USA’s elite, Allen Johnson, the four-time World champion and 1996 Olympic gold medallist, Terrence Trammell, the 2006 World Indoor 60m Hurdles champion, and Dominique Arnold, currently the IAAF World Ranked number one hurdler.

Ladji Doucouré of France
(Getty Images)

The race will be a revival of the 2005 World championships final, as the afore mentioned names took the first five places in Helsinki last summer, and also dominate the five top positions currently in the IAAF World Rankings.

Pierre-André Pasche and Chris Turner for the IAAF

Five runs, five wins, five sub-10 second clockings in 2006 have made the 24-year-old Gatlin one of the most sought after athletes in the world

Speaking of sought after I heard today on ESPN that the Eagles are trying to get him to join the team… How rediculous is it that I hear about Gatlin on tv over a story that is never going to materialize, but I couldn’t find his record breaking race on tv at all, or even the mention of it being broken.

Gatlin does get some TV time here thouugh. He was on Rome Is Burning the day after the WR run in Doha. Jim Rome nailed him on some questions. The race was also on Pardon the Interruption.

There was also an “outside the lines” episode on ESPN about him & Powell last week. It was on at the convenient time of 12:30 (noon) on a weekday. I caught it at a restaurant during lunch.

You need to get a TiVo :smiley: