(Reuters) – Justin Gatlin has made it clear he is not going to give up his world 100 meters title without a fight despite the emergence of much younger sprinters.
The 37-year-old American told Reuters he will battle “tooth and nail” for a third world crown in Doha in September after running a surprising 9.87 seconds at last weekend’s Prefontaine Classic where he finished second to compatriot Christian Coleman’s world-leading 9.81.
Man - Meters - Fast
No man aged 35 or older has ever run a 100 meters that fast.
“I never stop to think about my age really. I just listen to my body and it tells me if I can or can’t,” Gatlin said via email on Wednesday from Lausanne where on Friday he will face Americans Mike Rodgers and Cameron Burrell in a 100.
World - Champion - Fast - Age
Yet even the two-time world champion admitted it was unusual to be running that fast at that age.
“Usually everyone fast is young,” said the 2004 Olympic champion. “But I don’t let age define my ability and drive to be the best I can.
Fastest/oldest - Title
“Being the fastest/oldest is a crazy title to have.”
While Americans Coleman, age 23, Noah Lyles (21) and Michael Norman (21) have dominated global sprint headlines this season, Gatlin bolted into the picture with his Prefontaine performance at Stanford University, the fourth fastest 100m of the year.
His previous 2019 best had been 10.00 in May.
“I was injured earlier in the season so I lost out on strength and speed work,” said Gatlin, who experienced a micro hamstring tear while running a 200 meters in Grenada in April.
World - Champion - Career
“I feel much better now,” said the 2005 and 2017 world champion whose career was interrupted by...
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