International Athletics

Bolt, Gatlin poised to clash

2015-04-08 20:55
Usain Bolt (AFP)

Cape Town - A mouthwatering showdown between Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin could be a month away as the two rival sprinters are set to compete at next month's IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas.

Gatlin's participation in the May 2-3 event was confirmed on Wednesday in a text message to Reuters by the sprinter's manager a day after the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association said Bolt will also compete in Nassau.

While Bolt and Gatlin's confirmation for the event offers a chance for the sprinters to clash, much will depend on how the Jamaican and U.S. coaches line up their squads in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.

Both Bolt and Gatlin anchored their countries' 4x100 teams at the 2013 Moscow world championships with Jamaica triumphing.

As for a much anticipated race over 100 or 200 metres, that may have to wait until August's world championships in Beijing.

When asked on Wednesday about the likelihood of a meeting before then, Bolt's manager, Ricky Simms, told Reuters via email:

"I don't know where the other sprinters are running but I believe many meets would prefer not to invite athletes who bring negative headlines to their event."

Simms was referring to athletes who have served doping suspensions, including Gatlin whose racing has sparked major criticism in Europe despite him being eligible to compete.

The 2004 Olympic champion went undefeated last season, grabbing top world rankings in the 100 and 200 metres in a year when Bolt was often injured.

They have not met since the 2013 worlds, with the Jamaican claiming both sprint titles, but the rivalry is heating up.

"I'd say I'm the guy to beat right now," Gatlin said recently at the Texas Relays.

But Glen Mills, Bolt's coach, said the lanky sprinter has nothing to fear.

"We take all competitors with a level of seriousness and I don't see Gatlin as a joke, but the truth of the matter is Usain at his best doesn't have much to worry about," Mills told Reuters this week.

Bolt, 28, holds world records of 9.58 seconds in the 100 and 19.19 in the 200 from 2009.

He opens his 100 metres season on April 19 in Rio de Janeiro, the 2016 Olympics host city, and has races planned for New York, Paris and Lausanne with more to come.

Gatlin's schedule has not been announced. The 33-year-old set personal bests of 9.77 and 19.68 in 2014.

Read more on:    justin gatlin  |  usain bolt  |  athletics

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.