GATLIN PRE­DICTS

Says young guns go­ing af­ter leg­end in world meet

New Straits Times - - Sport -

KAWASAKI

AMER­I­CAN Justin Gatlin, so of­ten the pan­tomime vil­lain of men’s sprint­ing, re­turned to win­ning form with a pedes­trian 100 me­tres vic­tory in Ja­pan on Sun­day.

The vet­eran 35-year-old, a twotime doping of­fender, re­cov­ered from a poor start in Kawasaki to win the Golden Grand Prix in 10.28 sec­onds into a slight head­wind as he pipped Ja­pan’s Aska Cam­bridge by three hun­dredths.

Ja­panese hope Ab­dul Hakim Sani Brown strug­gled home in fourth in 10.42 be­hind Shuhei Tada (10.35), while China’s Su Bing­tian failed to build on vic­tory in Shang­hai ear­lier this month as he slumped to fifth.

“I’ve been a lit­tle in­jured so I haven’t been able to train as hard as I want to,” Gatlin told re­porters.

“But I’ve been work­ing on my top-end speed and my fin­ish and that helped me out to­day.”

Af­ter the race, Gatlin pre­dicted that sprint king Usain Bolt might not have it all his own way in his swan­song at this sum­mer’s world cham­pi­onships in Lon­don.

“Man, it’s go­ing to be ex­cit­ing,” said Gatlin, who helped the United States to vic­tory at the IAAF World Re­lays in April but was beaten into fourth in Doha ear­lier this month.

“Not only is Usain go­ing to show up for his last run, he’s a great com­peti­tor so you know he’s go­ing to show up to race.

“But you also have so many young ath­letes who are ready to fill that void,” added Gatlin, who along with An­dre de Grasse trailed home be­hind South Africa’s Akani Sim­bine at the Di­a­mond League meet in Doha.

Canada’s Aaron Brown won the men’s 200 me­tres in 20.62 with Amer­i­can Dedric Dukes run­nerup in 20.71 and Ja­pan’s Kenji Fu­jim­itsu third in 20.93.

Lon­don Olympic bronze medal­list Ti­mothy Ki­tum took gold in the 800m with a time of 1:47.03 while Kenya’s Paul Tanui, who took sil­ver be­hind Mo Farah in the 10,000m at last year’s Rio Olympics, won the 3,000m in 7:52.67.

Rio cham­pion Thomas Rohler eased to vic­tory in the men’s javelin, the Ger­man pro­duc­ing a best throw of 86.55 me­tres to beat Tai­wan’s Huang Shih-Feng (82.57) and Czech Jaroslav Jilek (82.46).

For­mer Euro­pean cham­pion Ivet Lalova-Col­lio won the women’s 100m in 11.40 sec­onds, edg­ing out Amer­i­cans Tawanna Mead­ows (11.44) and Tianna Bar­to­letta (11.47).

Bar­to­letta won the women’s long jump – in which she took gold at the Rio Olympics and the 2015 world cham­pi­onships – with a best ef­fort of 6.79 me­tres on her sec­ond leap. AFP

AP PIC

Justin Gatlin (right) greets sec­ond placed Aska Cam­bridge af­ter win­ning the 100m at the Golden Grand Prix yes­ter­day.

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