Forget it, Greene tells Gatlin
Saturday, January 16, 2010
That was the retort of former Olympic and World 100m champion American Maurice Greene when quizzed if his compatriot Justin Gatlin can beat the world’s current top three sprinters – Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, as well as Tyson Gay of the USA.
“That’s just what I believe. He’s been out for way too long,” Greene reasoned.
Gatlin, a former world and Olympic 100m gold medallist, becomes eligible to compete in July after serving a four-year ban from athletics for testing positive for a banned substance in 2006.
“Four years is a long time not to compete… he has a tremendous mountain up against him and the times that these guys are running now, he wasn’t running these times when he was there and he hasn’t been competing, so personally, I say, ‘what’s the point’?” added Greene, who is currently in Jamaica to attend tomorrow’s Douglas Forrest Invitational Meet at the National Stadium.
Gatlin, who turned 28 next month, recently said he is targetting the trio when he returns to the track in July.
“I could beat them before. I don’t see why I can’t run with them now,” Gatlin told Reuters after a training session in Naples, Florida.
“Times don’t scare me,” Gatlin added.
However Greene, who racked up 52 legal sub-10-second 100m clockings during his career, says Gatlin should rethink his plans to return to competitive track and field.
“You should just live your glory days and just sit back and watch, like me. Not to say anything bad because anything is possible, but I just don’t believe it,” added Greene, who also won gold in the 200m and over 60m indoors.
Last Friday Bolt, the current 100m and 200m world record holder with 9.58 and 19.19 seconds, respectively, welcomed Gatlin’s challenge, but warned that the American could find the going tougher.