Gatlin to challenge sprint king Bolt

The way Justin Gatlin sees it, trash talking is the lifeblood of the most glamorous race on the track. And if that doesn’t go down well with Usain Bolt, well so be it.
The American sprinter, who will face Bolt in the 100 meters at the Golden Gala on Thursday, has been touting himself after posting impressive wins in two of the opening Diamond League meets this year.
Gatlin ran 9.97 seconds in Doha, Qatar, and 9.88 in Eugene, Oregon.
Bolt, the world record-holder who has dominated sprinting for the last five years, narrowly won his only 100 this season in a relatively slow 10.09 in the Cayman Islands a month ago. Bolt acknowledged on Tuesday that Gatlin “has done a lot this season already,” but noted that he saves his biggest talking for the biggest events.
This year’s highlight will be the world championships in Moscow in August. Gatlin can’t wait that long, although he did concede that he would address the subject as expediently as possible “so as not to ruffle (Bolt’s) feathers.”
“You have to get the crowd excited to come see us,” Gatlin said on Wednesday. “You see us for nine seconds and then we’re off the track and then we’re gone to the next meet, then you see us for another nine seconds and then we’re gone. So this is the only way you’re going to hear what we say, if you read about it. I like talking about it. I like getting into it. I’m sorry. Sorry, Usain.” Bolt leads 3-0 in head-to-head races with Gatlin and the American had two flights canceled before he arrived in Rome. Still, Gatlin believes he can win.

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