- Title: Gatlin gets in shape for heavyweight Bolt clash
- Date: 28th July 2017
- Summary: BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 28, 2017) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF FORMER OLYMPIC AND WORLD CHAMPION, JUSTIN GATLIN BOXING AT A COMMUNITY DAY WITH LOCAL SCHOOL CHILDREN AS THE USA TRACK AND FIELD TEAM PREPARE FOR THE IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS GATLIN ARRIVING FOR A MEDIA HUDDLE, SAYING (English): "WE BELIEVE THE SUSPECT IS AN AVERAGE HEIGHT MAN. HE IS ON THE RUN, WHICH MEANS HE'S ON FOOT. WE'RE GOING TO CATCH HIM. WE HAVE BLOODHOUNDS. NOT REGULAR HOUNDS BUT BLOODHOUNDS ON HIM. THAT'S ALL. THANK YOU EVERYBODY." GATLIN TALKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER OLYMPIC AND WORLD CHAMPION, JUSTIN GATLIN, TALKING ABOUT USAIN BOLT COMPETING IN HIS LAST EVENT AT THE IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, SAYING: "It's going to be amazing you know because it's a special time it's not just me and Usain (Bolt) but you have so many young athletes that are coming up. I think that's going to be the special thing about it is not just such a predominant figure who's going to make a void in our sport but it's going to be filled by such young athletes and athletes who are there now who want to make a name for themselves so it's going to be a crazy time and the changing of the guard for many." GATLIN POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPH WITH LOCAL SCHOOL CHILDREN AND THE AMERICAN FLAG (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER OLYMPIC AND WORLD CHAMPION, JUSTIN GATLIN, TALKING ABOUT USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "Man you know you name it. You know; world records, championships, GOLDS??. I mean for me it'sâ€¦I think it's a rare moment that you guys don'tâ€¦ you're not able to have the opportunity to appreciate like I do because he's a true competitor. I think out of my whole career I've never raced anybody who's such a true competitor and who's going to go toe to toe with me and I loved that. I loved that as someone who was never going to like falter or fall down or back away. He's going to rise to the occasion and that's what makes me the athlete I am today because he rose to the occasion and makes me want to rise to the occasion." VARIOUS OF GATLIN DOING WARMING-UP EXERCISES WITH LOCAL SCHOOL CHILDREN (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER OLYMPIC AND WORLD CHAMPION, JUSTIN GATLIN, TALKING ABOUT USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "You know the hardest thing to determine is once you've done everything over and over again you know you kind of, you kind of watered down the passion you have for it. I know he spoke of playing football (soccer) at one point in time and you know it may be finding who he is outside of track and field. But he has the opportunity always still coming back you know once he leaves he can still come back. He can have a year of rest and say, 'You know what I love track so much I can't leave it too soon'." REPORTER, ASKING: "You think he might well do that once he's had a break?" "Why not. You know he has that rock star mentality where he can go travel the world or go have fun, go party in different places and then come back and say, 'You know what I want to take this serious one more time'." VARIOUS OF GATLIN WALKING INTO ALEXANDER STADIUM (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER OLYMPIC AND WORLD CHAMPION, JUSTIN GATLIN, TALKING ABOUT HAVING ONE LAST OPPORTUNITY TO BEAT USAIN BOLT, SAYING: "Ah man. I'm not going in there with that mentality or thought process. I'm not going into have fun. I'm trying to actually sew together two kinds of Justins where I just want to go out and have fun like I was in college and still be dominant but I also want to go out there focusing on the special time it is where it's a changing point in history. So you'll see a little bit of both. I'm just going to have a good time." GATLING WALKING ON RACING TRACK (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER OLYMPIC AND WORLD CHAMPION, JUSTIN GATLIN, TALKING ABOUT THE PRESSURES YOUNG ATHLETES LIKE CHRISTIAN COLEMAN DEALING WITH THE PRESSURE, SAYING: "It's about going out there and you know not cracking under the pressure knowing that you're running in a stadium that's full of hundred thousand people. Fans who are for you fans who are against you. This is just a cluster of chaos sometimes but it's something that you are addicted to and you love it. But I think for the younger athletes who are coming up it's for them is actually attrition. You realise that they've had a long season. Christian Coleman has ran indoor, he's ran his conference, he's ran NCAA's he's ran you know pro nationals and now he's here now. So for him it is about getting through the rounds pacing himself and just staying calm and making it count when it happens." GATLIN LEAVING AT END OF MEDIA HUDDLE VARIOUS OF GATLIN WALKING ON FIELD
- Embargoed: 11th August 2017 16:09
- Keywords: World Athletics Championships
- Location: BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND, UK
- City: BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Athletics,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0016RMS30F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:After years of being Usain Bolt's main rival, Justin Gatlin is looking forward to one more race against the Jamaican world record holder and for a special reason.
Bolt is retiring after his final 100 meters at August's world championships in London and Gatlin hopes to make the final and face his old rival.
The 2004 Olympic champion, Gatlin was ineligible for the 2008 Beijing Games while serving a four-year doping ban.
He watched from a restaurant as Bolt wiped out world records in the 100 and 200 meters.
Since then, with Gatlin returning from his ban in 2010, they have raced nine times at 100 meters with a 2013 Diamond League win in Rome Gatlin's only victory.
While Bolt was racking up world and Olympic gold medals, Gatlin won bronze at the 2012 London Olympics followed by silver at the 2013 and 2015 world championships and at last year's Rio Games.
This season has been a struggle with various injuries, but Gatlin said it would be pleasing to be back in London for Bolt's swansong saying it would be a "crazy time" as they witness the changing of the guard.
Gatlin said it would be an exciting world championships with youngsters like compatriot Christian Coleman and Canadian Andre De Grasse also challenging for medals.
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