By Gene Cherry
DURHAM, North Carolina, June 20 Reuters - Joint world 100 metres record holder Justin Gatlin eased into a shaded area after a workout and thought about how fast man could run.
I can't answer that question,'' the American said, because I don’t limit myself.’’
But as he relaxed for a moment at the North Carolina Central University track a time did come to mind.
About three years ago, Dwain Chambers said he was going to run 9.65 and I laughed,'' Gatlin said of a remark by the British sprinter who later tested positive for the designer steroid THG. 'Who could run that fast?', Gatlin thought. The 24-year-old Olympic and world champion has come to believe that the answer might be him. Now, knowing that I ran 9.7 and watching my tape and knowing where I have room for improvement, I guess I can’t laugh anymore.
I think 9.6 can be obtainable,'' Gatlin said. It’s all about your mechanics, your drive, your ambition and your discipline.’’
All four seem to have come together this year for Gatlin.
He has tweaked his mechanics in strenuous workouts designed to push him beyond the world record of 9.77 he and Jamaican Asafa Powell share. Gatlin matched Powell’s mark in Doha last month.
Gatlin’s drive and ambition surge through self-discipline – and fast times by Powell.
The Jamaican’s latest 9.77 clocking – at Gateshead last week – will only boost anticipation within the sport and among fans that one of them will run faster this season, Gatlin said.
I think I am the kind of person who tries to fulfil those wishes,'' Gatlin said. His next opportunity will come at the U.S. championships, which begin on Thursday in Indianapolis. Not since Leroy Burrell clocked 9.90 seconds at New York in 1991 has an American male shattered the 100 metres world record in the U.S. championships. Gatlin declined to predict he would be the next. He knows weather conditions, competition and mindset can upset the best of plans. But the world 100 and 200 metres champion is dropping hints that by the week's end Florence Griffith Joyner's 1988 women's 100 world record and Carl Lewis's wind-assisted 9.78 seconds the same year may have company as marks to remember at the refurbished track. Those people have done awesome things on that track, and I want to be a part of that history,’’ Gatlin said.
He also wants to meet Powell head-to-head this season but said the financial arrangements must be rewarding for both.
He feels he is a better athlete than I am and he deserves more. I feel the same way,'' Gatlin said. I didn’t run great races for three, four years straight, not to be rewarded for it.’’
A proposed deal to race in Gateshead fell apart. Now London on July 28 is the talked-about venue.
Whenever it comes, Gatlin said he would be ready.
I was bred for this,'' he said. Of all of the challenges I have had, big or small, all of my main competitors have built me for this moment.
In a way, I think that this is why I am on this earth,'' he added. I am on this earth for this duel.
After the duel is over and whatever happens, then I'm going to move on with my life.'' But right now I’m here to run fast. I’m here to beat anybody in my path.’’
By Gene Cherry
who should get more $$$ ?
Intersesting and honest statement.
The last paragraph shows how much GAT is focused and mentally strong.
But i think AP is stronger.
I like this:) Gatlin and POwell should have there own 3 race standoff after the regular season. Have it rerun on ESPN, ESPN2, and Spike TV. CHarge it on Pay-Per-View like UFC and get some betting going on…lol. Come on people!!! Everyone would love to watch something llike this!!! If only the PR poeple at USATF had an ounce of intuition they would do what they could to make it happen.
you mean like mj vs db? i’d say during the season, when they should be at their peak - we could see some incredible times if they push each other. they could have races over 100 110 120 130 140 150m maybe?
Didn’t we have that here already: