2000 champ sees Bolt as dangerous, vulnerable
Two days after 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin and 2007 world champion Tyson Gay booked 100m berths at London for an expected showdown with reigning Olympic champion Bolt, Greene sized up the men who followed in his footsteps.
“The race in London is going to be a lot closer than a lot of people think,” Greene said. “It’s going to be a really exciting race.”
Speaking on a rest day at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, Greene, who turns 38 next month, said he does not see Bolt lowering his world record of 9.58 seconds from Berlin in 2009.
“I’m going to tell you right now, he can’t do that,” Greene said.
Greene, a U.S. sprint legend whose nickname was “Kansas Comet,” is proof that an Olympian can match his time from four years earlier, however. Greene won gold at Sydney with 9.87 and took bronze in 2004 at Athens in the same time.
Bolt, 25, will not lack for motivation at London simply because he won Olympic gold in dominant fashion at Beijing, according to Greene. He cited Bolt’s false start disqualification in last year’s 100m world final.
“Usain is talking about his legacy,” Greene said. “He wants to prove he should have won when he was knocked out .?.?. I know when someone has something to prove, he is dangerous.”
The 2008 Olympic 100m and 200m champion and reigning world 200m champion has the Jamaican Olympic trials next weekend at Kingston, London.
Bolt owns the fastest times in the world this year, 9.76 to win in Rome last month and 9.79 to win at Oslo earlier this month.
Gatlin, 30, is next at a career-best 9.80 from his victory Sunday at the U.S. trials. Then come Jamaicans Yohan Blake at 9.84 and Asafa Powell at 9.85, with Gay’s runner-up trials time of 9.86 next, level with Trinidad and Tobago’s Keston Bledman.
Greene notes Gay is coming off right hip surgery last year that allowed him to return only this month after nearly a year off.
“His biggest thing is to get healthier. I don’t think he’s 100 percent,” said Greene. AFP