KINGSTON, Jamaica – Sprinter Julian Forte says he would be disappointed to lose his Olympic Games place in the 200m to Usain Bolt, but admitted that the world record holder deserves the spot.
Forte finished third in the men’s 200m at the Jamaica National Trials earlier this month and is one of four men, including Bolt, whose names have been submitted to contest the event at the Rio Games next month.
However, with only three runners from each country allowed per event, Forte, who finished behind Yohan Blake and Nickel Ashmeade at the trials, is the man on the bubble and could end up being just a tourist in Rio.
The 23-year-old hopes to compete in his first Olympic Games, but will wait on the Jamaica Athletics Administration Association – JAAA to make its decision.
“I trained 11 hard months to make the team, so my ultimate goal is to make the team and compete in an individual event at the Olympics, so it will definitely be disappointing if I don’t get to go, but we will see,” he told The Gleaner.
“I love doing what I do. I will go out there and give it my all every single time.
“I am just waiting on them (JAAA) to see how it goes, but I will always give my all for my country.”
A Fit Usain Bolt Deserves Rio Spots
Bolt withdrew from the Jamaica Trials with a hamstring injury and was granted a medical exemption from competing.
Having already posted a time of 9.88 seconds for the 100m this season, the six-time Olympic champion will test his fitness over 200m at the London Diamond League on July 22, and if he is successful, Forte is backing the world’s fastest man to secure his sprint double spot on the team.
“At the end of the day, you are talking about Usain Bolt,” Forte said. “Anybody who has one of the three fastest times in the world for the year and is such an integral part and has been such an integral part of our team for years.
“I think anybody who is in that position would be deserving.”
Bolt wasn’t the only athlete granted medical exemption during the trials, with Elaine Thompson, who after equalling the national 100m record of 10.70secs, was forced to skip the 200m with a tight hamstring.
Janieve Russell, the third fastest woman in the 400m hurdles this year and 110m hurdler Hansel Parchment were missing altogether, having both sustained injuries before the Jamaica Trials.
“It is not only Usain who has used the medical exemption. Many other people have used it in the past, so it has benefits,” Forte added.