Usain Bolt insists he is ready for his showdown with Justin Gatlin at the World Championships in Beijing. The 100m and 200m world record holder will go head-to-head with his American rival, who leads the world list this year with 9.74 seconds.
Gatlin has returned to the sport having previously served two bans for doping. The Jamaican has struggled with injuries this year and admits his preparation for the Championships could have been better, despite running 9.87 seconds twice during London’s Anniversary games last month.
“I’m definitely feeling good,” said the six-time Olympic champion.
“I always wish I could have got in more races ahead of the Championships but it’s just one of those things. I’ve been training good, everything has been coming together. My coach is happy and that is always a key thing – when he is happy I know I am in good nick.
“I don’t know if I should call it an injury but I had a few joint problems which were not letting me get enough power under my legs so was causing me to run slow. I wasn’t getting any flex to access all the power that I had.
“I had to be constantly going to the doctor to try and figure out exactly what I needed to do to fix that. I wish I got more races in but it training was more important that actually competing but it worked out and I’m happy.”
Bolt returns to the scene of his first Olympic triumph where he first announced himself as a global superstar and he talked about his fond memories at the Bird’s Nest stadium.
“For me coming here was really exciting,” the 28-year-old added.
“Even from the flight here I was pretty excited. It was just a joy to be here and the competition was great.
“It was all nice memories so I’m happy to be back here.”