American sprinter Justin Gatlin claims defeat to world’s fastest man Usain Bolt at last year’s World Championships has made him a wiser athlete.
It seemed Gatlin had all the momentum headed into last year’s athletic blockbuster and was tipped by some to be the first man to finish ahead of Bolt in a major Games in almost ten years.
It was the double world record holder who triumphed in the tense 100m showdown where an under pressure Gatlin seemed to buckle close to the finish line. Bolt then went on to beat the American in both the 200m and the 4x100m relays.
“Definitely it’s given me motivation, but also it’s made me smarter and wiser,” Gatlin told AFP regarding last year’s match-up with Bolt.
“Usually you can come with a strategy that can combat the whole field but when you go against someone like Usain, who is unique in stature and talent, you’ve got to come with a contingency plan, a plan B,” he added.
Lesson learnt; and come this summer’s Olympics the athlete promised to be worried about only one competitor.
“It has made me a smarter and wiser competitor to know when to stay within my technique, execute my race and just worry about myself,” he said.
Gatlin opened his season in Japan yesterday clocking 10.02 second into a slight headwind to claim the event.