ROME — Usain Bolt has laughed off comments from American sprinter Justin Gatlin – which suggested that the 2004 Olympic champion was ready to take down the world record holder in London.
Gatlin, who has been in great form this season, following his return to the track from a four-year suspension – believes that he could be the man to dethrone Bolt of his title at the London Olympic Games in August.
“They have watched the Bolt show for a couple of years and they want to see someone else in the mix as well,” said Gatlin, after his 9.87 seconds performance to beat Asafa Powell in Doha, recently.
“I’m glad to come up and step up and take charge with that.”
However, Bolt, who won the sprint double in world record fashions in Beijing, China in 2008, says Gatlin needs to get past the likes of Tyson Gay of USA and world champion Yohan Blake, before he can make him worry.
“I don’t want to sound rude or anything, but I think Gatlin had his chance,” Bolt was quoted as telling the Associated Press.
“That’s a funny thing he said. You can’t count out Tyson Gay, and Yohan Blake is back. I think (Gatlin) has a few guys to get past before he worries about me.”
Bolt, who owns the 100m world record, at 9.58 seconds, leads the world with a time of 9.82secs, a time which is faster than Gatlin’s personal best of 9.84secs.