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CityPress - - Sport - What will it take for US sprint­ers to de­throne Usain Bolt as the world cham­pion? SMS us on 35697 us­ing the key­word BOLT what you think. SMSes cost R1.50 each. Al­ter­na­tively, talk to us on Twit­ter (@Ci­ty_Press) or Face­book (face­book.com/city­press.co.za)

and tell us the 100m and 19.57 in the 200m this year. Pow­ell boasts a sea­son best of 9.84 in the 100m and Gay clocked 9.87 at the US Track and Field Cham­pi­onships last Sun­day.

Bolt was due to race at the Paris Diamond League, which took place last night, but then sud­denly an­nounced his with­drawal from the event – as well as the Lausanne one on Thurs­day.

His last race was the Diamond leg of the Adi­das Grand Prix in New York on June 13.

With Bolt out of ac­tion, Gatlin and Gay are head­ing into their last big build-up at the global track and field meet­ing in China from Au­gust 22-30.

Ex­pec­ta­tions are high that Gatlin and co might be in good enough shape to de­throne Bolt, who has held all but one (the 100m) short sprint ti­tles since he burst on to the scene at the 2009 world cham­pi­onships in Ber­lin, Ger­many.

Bolt and Gatlin have not com­peted against each other since the Ja­maican ace beat the Amer­i­can to the 100m gold medal at Moscow’s global cham­pi­onships in Au­gust 2013.

The two sprint­ers would have avoided each other at the Switzer­land Diamond meet­ing on Thurs­day, as Gatlin en­tered the 100m against Pow­ell and Gay.

The USA, a one-time dom­i­nant force in men’s sprint­ing, have not won a short-sprint ti­tle since Gay’s 100m and 200m dou­ble vic­tory in 2007.

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