By Gary Smith — Caribbean Net News
LONDON, England — Great Britain’s Marlon Devonish believes he stands a chance of defeating Jamaican Usain Bolt in the Great City Games Street 150m sprint in Manchester on Sunday.
Not in 9.60 shape yet
Devonish acknowledged that the world record holder will start as favourite, but he believes he is in good enough shape at the moment to challenge the Caribbean star, who he thinks is not in 9.60seconds form just yet.
"Of course I want to go there and win. I don’t think Bolt will be in 9.6 shape yet – and he’s had a car accident as well," Devonish said.
"I love competing against the best in the world, I thrive off it. I’ve raced against Bolt before. He’s a bit of a joker – he likes to enjoy himself, so there will be a lot of banter. "
On a serious note, though, the 150 is good for training, so I’m looking at how it will be benefits me. I’m going to hit it really hard to get me closer to race fitness."
Recovered in time to hit the street
Bolt’s participation in Manchester looked in doubt after a car accident injury forced him to have surgery and remove thorns embedded in his left foot when exiting his car from crash.
However, after resuming training last Friday and getting over his discomforts over the weekend, the sprint sensation was cleared by coach Glen Mills to make the trip to compete down Deansgate.
The recovery of Bolt has pleased the organisers of Manchester event who believe the public will be gathering in their thousands to see to the Jamaican at first hand.
Good marketing for track and field
The idea to bring Bolt to streets was also welcome by Devonish, who believes an event such as this will only do good for track and field.
"If you can bring the sport to the streets and see how quick athletes are running – get an idea of how explosive the whole thing is and how quickly it all happens.
"You have a better understanding of what it’s like. Even when I sit back and watch other people run I’m like, ‘Wow, do I run that quick?’
"It’s quite phenomenal [the speed], and I think that’s missed, especially on TV. Bolt being associated with this obviously means he’s interested in that as well. Millions have seen his Olympic races, but now they can see it first hand and get a real feel for it."
Follow Usain’s footsteps
He added the Bolt has definitely stepped into a league of his own and hopes the elite group can follow his footsteps.
"I think when anyone does anything special in athletics people think, how’s he doing it? I’m sure those athletes, like myself, are scrutinising and analysing how he’s done it," Devonish said.
That’s part and parcel of the sport moving on. He’s stepped out of ‘the group’ so to speak so it’s up to the rest of us now to move forward. It’s exciting and it’s what the sport needs."