Controversial Justin Gatlin says he is ready for Usain Bolt but does not believe that Usain Bolt is ready for him. The American sprinter says that while Usain Bolt may not be a 100%, fear is the leading factor why the Jamaican world record holder is bowing out of the Diamond League in Paris.
“I am not saying that he is faking his injury, I am saying that my 19.57 in the 200 meters is part of the reason why he is afraid to compete at the Diamond League”, said Gatlin.
“I wanted to come out and make a statement, and that’s what I did,” he added.
“A lot of people were asking me what could I run if I ran through the finish line, so obviously I went out there and ran 19.5 so I know I can do better than that and Usain Bolt knows it too.”
Only Usain Bolt, fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake and Americans Michael Johnson and Walter Dix have gone faster.
Training partner Isiah Young was second in 19.93 with the 30-year-old Wallace Spearmon taking third in 20.10.
Gatlin, the year’s fastest at 100 and 200, had a bye in the 100 at the trials, but plans to challenge Usain Bolt at both distances in the August world championships in Beijing.
They have not met since 2013 with Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, piling up a two-year unbeaten streak.
“I think a lot of American sprinters are waking up and understanding that it’s time to fight back and regain the reigns from the Jamaicans” said Gatlin, who has a bye into the World Championships 100m as the 2014 Diamond League winner.
“It’s time to go out there and work hard and bear that American flag with honor,” Gatlin said.
Gatlin said that although fear is keeping Usain Bolt out of the the Diamond league he still expects him to compete in Beijing.