Gatlin wins Madrid

Gatlin continues comeback with Madrid victory

Sat Jul 9, 2011 4:47pm EDT MADRID (Reuters) - Disgraced 2004 Olympic 100 meters champion Justin Gatlin continued his comeback from a four-year doping ban with victory in Madrid on Saturday.

American Gatlin, the 2005 world champion, ran 10.10 into a headwind at a low-key meeting in the Spanish capital, beating Dwain Chambers of Britain, who also served a ban for doping, into second. Gatlin’s compatriot Travis Padgett was third.

“I am just taking things step by step, race by race,” Gatlin told reporters trackside, adding that he was fully focused on preparing for the world championships in Daegu, South Korea later this year.

“I went through so many bad things while I was away, down on myself, drinking, all kinds of stuff, but I have stayed focused for my fans and for my family,” the 29-year-old said.

“I was brought into the sport at a young age and I wasn’t able to explore myself as a man and I think being out (of athletics) for half a decade I was able to grow as a man.”

Gatlin returned to competition last year after serving a ban imposed following a positive test for too high a level of the male sex hormone testosterone.

He has consistently denied knowingly using banned substances.

He is unable to compete in major European races as the organization representing Europe’s top athletics events meetings has told its members not to invite athletes who they believe bring disrepute to the sport.

Asked whether he was optimistic of being allowed back to top events on the continent, he said he was hearing different things every day.

“Right now if they put me on the moon I am going to race on the moon,” he said.

Gatlin’s personal best is 9.85, set at the Athens Olympics. A world-record tying 9.77 was nullified in 2006 because of the doping ban, still almost two-tenths of a second off Jamaican Usain Bolt’s 2009 world record of 9.58 seconds.

Gatlin said he was confident he could challenge Bolt and other top sprinters.

“I have always been a competitor and I feel like I can go out there and rise to the occasion.”

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Dave Thompson)

So happy for Gatlin.

Here is the video clip:

^^ Why does every sprinter start with the HSI drive phase and extreme head down? I don’t believe in it no more and I hate it. I can’t see where I’m going and I can’t forcefully move my arms.

I’m sure I read somewhere that JS introduced it for Greene to assist him with something he was working on and then as a result of Greene’s success people copied it.

As much as Im a Gatlin fan running like that I feel he will struggle in the Worlds against the likes of Blake and Mullins let alone Bolt. He’s not separating himself from the field like he used to and technically he looks very different from the prime time Gatlin in my eyes of 2005 (Helsinki Wch) - Unbeaten all season looked supreme. But hey I could be wrong…look what happened in 2004 when he was getting smoked!

I read, or heard, something similar. I think from memory JS did it to try and Greene not to sit up and actually emphasise to greene the acceleration phase.

Is Chambers still sponsored by Adidas? If so, why is his uniform not Adidas? I’m noticing that just his shoes are Adidas.

He wears his own brand of clothing. Chamber of Sport. He did at one point wear the spikes with the same branding. They were a grey spike with the adidas spike plate.Not sure why he isnt now.I’ll try and get a pic of them.

Damn you forgot about asafa and lemaitre.

Interesting. Thanks!

Weight transfer, as far as seeing where you are going there is a line either side which you watch. Jesse Owens and Michael Johnson used to start the same way with their head back to sight the finish line.

I have yet to see anyone move the finish line after the gun goes off.

Don Quarrie started that way although when he ran the turn he advised he never looks further down the track than 10 metres “that way you’re running a straight line and you should run the curve like it’s a straight line”…

In working with larger numbers of speed/power athletes per session I’ve had continually positive results, regarding speed work, by initiating with only two cues ‘head down, and arm drive’. While the skill of sprinting is a multi-faceted animal, I’ve found those two factors alone to produce very positive peripheral mechanical influences elsewhere where they are needed.

While I think the optimal biomechanical model during early acceleration has the sprinter creating a relatively straight line from cervical spine to ankle in ground support, I’ve found that a degree of cervical flexion poses no negative influence and almost always contributes towards improved drive mechanics across the board.

Asafa is a great example as he typically doesn’t level his line of sight/chin (line his cervical spine with the thoracic) until he’s around the 40m mark.

There is a local youth athlete with an exaggerated version of this - he didn’t look up until about 50m in a 100m heat yesterday (he’s a 10.9 guy).

A max of 10 meters sounds good to me, I used to say you are looking for pot holes and if you look too far ahead you will step into one.

And if Asafa waited a bit longer he would be faster. Didn’t no2 say he starts to get run down after 50m.

The head down technique is not necessary. Charlie always said “head in line with the spine”. I believe Asafa artificially tries to extend his acceleration by thinking that keeping his head down is the key. This negatively impacts his transition to max velocity.

Watch Ben’s old races. He kept his head in line. And still reached 12.1 m/s on slower surfaces with less stiff shoes. His splits prove his acceleration was fantastic, as well as his transition to max velocity.

When we worked with Tim Montgomery, he told us that Trevor told him to “look for ants” (i.e. Keep your head down). This mis-information screwed up Tim’s start and accel until it was corrected by Charlie.

Long story short: keeping your head tucked over can be problematic and is not the sole answer. Be mindful of all technical elements and how them work in combination with each other.

I’m currently working on a video project that looks at start mechanics and incorporates much of what Charlie taught me about start and acceleration mechanics.

Do you think that if Maurice Greene had kept his “head in line” during the first phase of his races, he would have gone faster?

1997 WC:
1999 WC:
2000 OG:
2001 WC:

I agree in full. What I’ve found with my non-track athletes is that “head in line with spine” just doesn’t register on the whole because they’ll still want to look ahead which ends up causing premature neck extension beyond zero. Thus, in cuing “tuck the chin” this actually resolves the situation and yields neck in line with spine.

I always go with ‘neck in line with spine’ at the onset and usually end up saying ‘tuck the chin’ if they have problems ‘getting it’.