By Paul Mulvey
LONDON, June 26 AAP - Patrick Johnson may be thefastest man in the world this year but the Australiansprinter was happy to take things slowly on Saturday.
Johnson backs up his impressive opening to hisEuropean campaign in Lucerne on Wednesday by staying inSwitzerland and running at a low-key meeting in Bern.
While sprinting’s big guns, including formerAustralian champion Matt Shirvington, headed for Oslo’sBislett Games in Norway on Friday night, Johnson optedto work on some technical issues and ease himself into atwo-month European season before the world championshipsin Paris in August.
He literally hit the ground running when he landed inEurope this week, clocking 10.06 seconds in the heat and10.13 in winning the 100m final at a meeting in Lucernein his first races since his narrow loss to world recordholder Tim Montgomery on May 10 in Japan.
It's nice to step off the plane and run a 10.06 and10.13,'' Johnson said today. I’m still finding my legs and there’s still a longway to go to the world championships.
It'll take a couple more races to get the technicalstuff right and general race sharpness. The other blokes are a couple of races ahead of meso Bern will allow me to get work on some technicalaspects and to help me start finding my legs and gettingthe cobwebs out.
But to start by running 10.06, allows me to thinkthe next races will be pretty good.'' Johnson set the world's fastest time of 2003 when hecracked the legal 10 second barrier for the first timewith a scintillating 9.93 in Japan last month. But after his six week lay-off, he has no intention oftrying to emulate his sub 10 second run until he getsinto full race mode at the Paris Golden League meetingon July 4, on the same Stade de France track where hewill aim for a world championship medal. Oslo is pure competition, from the gun you’ve got togo hammer and tongs, it’s one of the top leagues and toprunners,’’ he said.
I want to get slowly into the season because it's along season, I don't want to get run down. There’s no point in running fast and then spending aweek injured.’’
Leading up to the world championships, his schedulealso includes grand prix meetings in Stockholm, Londonand Helsinki and Golden League in Rome and Zurich.