‘Good meets Evil’ as Bolt, Galtin battle for world fastest man

‘Good meets Evil’ as Bolt, Galtin battle for world fastest man

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Posted by bigboluet (M) » 13 Aug,2016

423284Usain-Bolt-Justin-Gatlin-696x523.jpg

The battle to be crowned world’s fastest man takes centre
stage at the Rio Olympics on Sunday with Usain Bolt
facing another showdown with Justin Gat

lIn the 12 months since, athletics has been left reeling by
a corruption scandal involving top-level administrators
and revelations over Russian doping that plunged the
sport into the worst crisis in its history.
It means that Sunday’s 100m final at Rio de Janeiro’s
Olympic Stadium, set for 10.25pm local time (0125 GMT
Monday) will inevitably once more be framed as a battle
of “good versus evil” — Bolt vs Gatlin.
In a global audience of hundreds of millions, many
fans, including International Association of Athletics
Federations chief Sebastian Coe, may be tempted to
watch through their fingers.
Gatlin, 34, wearily rejects a narrative he sees as unfair,
adamant that his story is far more nuanced than the
bald, oft-applied label — “two-time dope cheat” —
implies.
His first doping suspension in 2001 arose from the use of
a drug to treat attention deficit disorder that he had
been prescribed since childhood.
The US panel hearing that case found he “was certainly
not a doper.”
A second positive in 2006 — for excessive levels of
testosterone — was more problematical.
Gatlin blamed the results on sabotage by a therapist
but was banned for eight years, later reduced to four on
appeal.
– Hurt by ‘villain’ tag –
“It’s hurtful, it’s hurtful to be looked at as a villain
because that’s not how I portray myself, that’s not how
my son portrays me or my family,” said Gatlin, who
booked his ticket to Rio with the fastest 100m time in the
world this year last month, 9.80sec.
Gatlin may find it hard to escape the opprobium
however if he defeats Bolt on Sunday to deny a fairytale
swansong for the sport’s greatest showman.
Bolt is aiming to sign off a majestic Olympic career by
successfully defending his triple crown of 100m, 200m
and 4x100m titles for a third straight Olympics.
The 29-year-old has endured a frustrating season,
repeatedly bothered by a hamstring problem that has
required extensive treatment and forced him to cut short
his appearance at Jamaica’s trials in Kingston in July.
However he appeared in relaxed mood on Monday at his
first press conference since arriving in Brazil, shimmying
with scantily-clad samba dancers and wise-cracking
with journalists.
Even when asked about his sport’s year of shame, which
culminated with Russia barred from the Olympics, Bolt
was upbeat.
“For me I think we’re going in the right direction, I must
say,” Bolt said. “We’re weeding out the bad ones,” he
added, stating he was unconcerned by the prospect of
lining up against opponents who are not clean.
“In life nothing is guaranteed. But for me going out
there, I never worry about it,” said Bolt, who has a knack
of raising his game when titles are at stake.
“As a young kid you grow up looking forward to the big
Games,” he said. “Championships are what matters.
This is what I do, I enjoy doing it.”
The likeliest challenge to Bolt and Gatlin could come
from the next generation of sprinters led by Trayvon
Bromell of the United States and France’s Jimmy Vicaut.
Bromell, 21, has the world’s second fastest 100m time this
year (9.84) whie Vicaut, 24, has the third fastest (9.86).
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