Athletics

Usain Bolt v Justin Gatlin: A race to remember

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Football News
24/7

With the Athletics World Championships arriving late next month, the spotlight will be on the 100 metres with Justin Gatlin likely to face off with Usain Bolt for the gold medal.

Providing a severe case of misfortune dodges the way of each of these world-class sprinters, the scintillating prospect of two of the world's fastest men going head to head is what the world has to look forward to.

Bolt, despite an array of mediocre performances in the recent past, ran two season best times of 9.87 at the Anniversary Games in London; a polite reminder to sports fans all over the world that he is still a force to be reckoned with.

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Having ran only one 100m in 2015 prior to Friday's race, a tired 10.12 in April, Bolt scorched off the cobwebs on a wet London track, running the joint sixth fastest time of the year.

However, taking gold in Beijing next month will be anything but straight forward. Standing in the way of Bolt and his seventeenth gold medal is the man with the fastest time of the year so far, Justin Gatlin.

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Gatlin, undeterred after twice being banned from the sport for taking drugs, ran an impressive 9.74 in Doha in May and has since the start of 2015 dipped under 9.8 seconds four times, making him the man to beat in what is guaranteed to be an illustrious field of runners. He wasn't invited to compete at the Anniversary Games because of his two doping bans.

Gatlin has never been able to beat Bolt, but is in the form of his life coming in to the championships, and will fancy his chances against a relatively un-raced opponent.

"I've been training really hard and pushing myself. It’s all about taking one step at a time and getting the timing right for Beijing.”

At a press conference prior to his season best in London, Bolt agreed that he hasn't had the best season so far, and that a win in London would be a huge indicator that he has what it takes to win in Beijing.

He said: “Tomorrow will give me momentum and focus going into the championships. It’s all about executing my race. I'm trying to get that right, and if I do I will be in good shape.

“Most of my races this season have been really poor. But I am looking forward to competition now. I've been training really hard and pushing myself. It’s all about taking one step at a time and getting the timing right for Beijing.”

Before Friday, Gatlin was the red hot favourite to take gold in Beijing, but with Bolt hitting a timely patch of form, and returning to the Birds Nest Stadium where he triumphed to triple Olympic gold in 2008, there in no doubt that the race will be one to remember.

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Topics:
Commonwealth Games
Usain Bolt
World Championships
Athletics

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