Fearless Bolt says will silence Gatlin in Beijing

Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:39pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Usain Bolt says he is not yet ready for a duel with Justin Gatlin but is looking forward to silencing the confident American in a Beijing sprint "explosion" at the world championships in August.

While the Jamaican has eased into the season after an injury-disrupted 2014, Gatlin has set the fastest times of the year in both sprints and declared himself the "man to beat".

"Gatlin has been doing a lot of talking, saying a lot of things," Bolt told Reuters with a chuckle in an interview on Thursday ahead of the adidas Grand Prix at Randall's Island.

"He's proved he's running fast times and he's ready. So it should be exciting going into the world championship.

"I look forward to competing when people talk ... because if you don't back it up you look really stupid."

Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, last month ran the fastest 100 meters of 2015 (9.74 seconds) in Doha and a season-leading 19.68 in the 200 in Eugene 15 days later.

Bolt, who retains the world record in both events (9.58 and 19.19), is running only the 200 on Saturday as he continues to frustrate track fans eager to see how he would measure up on the track against Gatlin.

The Jamaican, looking slender in a black suit and dark blue shirt outside a reception at Nasdaq headquarters, said his race selection was nothing to do with fear of any other athlete.   Continued...

Jamaica's track star Usain Bolt attends a news conference in the Manhattan borough of New York City, June 12, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar