Justin Gatlin: Usain Bolt afraid to race me

Sportsmax:-Justin Gatlin has hailed Usain Bolt as the man who set the new standard in track and field but has suggested that the Jamaican is afraid to race him outside of major championships.

During a recent interview with One Dancehall, an entertainment and music website that provides consumers with the latest reggae and dancehall news and videos, the 34-year-old Gatlin, who will be trying to dethrone Bolt as the Olympic 100 metre champion, said that over the past two years, Bolt has been reluctant to take him on.

“I’ve raced him over the last couple of years. I enjoy the clashes. When we see each other we know we have to be on our ‘A’ game,” the American champion said. “He doesn’t want to race me across the world all the time because it would just be a battle everywhere.”

Gatlin, who has been trying to improve his biomechanics in an effort to defeat Bolt in Rio, has only beaten Bolt once, in Rome 2013, when the world-record holder was returning for his first race from a back injury. Gatlin, however, said his victory came from studying the Jamaican star’s races.

The 2004 Olympic champion going for his second Olympic 100-metre title, said he believes Bolt, who suffered a hamstring strain at the Jamaican national championships over a month ago, will be ready to compete in Rio. “He will be healthy and I am a competitor so I want us to be in the record books,” Gatlin said.

He acknowledges, however, that Bolt is among the all-time greats of sprinting.

“He has set a new era of sprinting so as a competitor you know it’s an obligation or a duty to either push the envelope to make him a better athlete or beat him,” he said.