By Gene Cherry Wed Jan 31, 8:21 PM ET
RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) -
Maurice Greene wants to turn back the clock and rediscover life among the world’s elite sprinters this year, at the age of 32.
“This year is going to be one of the best years I’ve had, and you’d better believe it,” Greene told Reuters in a telephone interview from Los Angeles.
“After I win the world championships this year and win the Olympics next year, then I can truly walk away from the sport and say I gave it all I got.”
“After 2008, I believe that will be my time to go,” added the three-times 100 meters world champion.
While no sprinter under 30 was ranked among the world’s top 10 100 meters runners in 2006, Greene believes he can buck the trend.
“The 30’s are the new 20,” said the American, who set a then world record of 9.79 seconds in 1999.
His opening test will come on Friday when the 2000 Olympic champion faces Athens 200 meters gold medallist
Shawn Crawford over 60 meters at the 100th anniversary Millrose Games in New York.
"I am just going out there to win, and whatever times comes to me, comes to me. " said Greene, who has not raced in 10 months because of injuries.
“But it is going to be a fast time, and the crowd will be pleased,” he added.
The race is likely be his only indoor performance of the year before he turns his focus to the outdoor season and his speciality, the 100 metres.
Jamaican Asafa Powell now holds the world record, having clocked 9.77 seconds three times in the last two years.
“He’s been doing a lot of good things. I respect his running ability,” Greene said.
“He’s probably the strongest one out there, but the thing about him is, he runs very well when he’s comfortable. He gets into trouble when he has people in the race who can run with him. That’s when he has problems.”
For now, the love of competition and the memory of the 2004 Athens Olympics, where Greene won a silver and bronze in what he said was the most disappointing experience of his career, drive the sprinter forward.
“I lost two gold medals by three-hundredths of a second (in Athens),” said Greene, who was 0.02 seconds behind winner
Justin Gatlin as the bronze medallist in the 100 metres and 0.01 of a second adrift of the winning British quartet in the 4x100 relay.
Four years after he grabbed the 100 and 4x100 relay golds at Sydney, the glitter was gone.
The sport’s image was being hammered by the BALCO doping scandal, and Greene was being slowed by injuries.
“Now I am having fun again,” said Greene, who through better dieting and improved stretching exercises hopes he has curtailed the aches and pains of recent years.
Greene’s speed may be under question but his ability to psych out his opponents remains – after all, he has the letters G.O.A.T. tattooed on his arm.
“The Greatest of All Time,” said Greene, who has run more sub-10 second 100 metres than any other athlete.
“I wouldn’t have gotten that tattoo with the G.O.A.T. if I didn’t think I was.”