According the runner Justin Gatlin, athletics does not need another marquee personality with the speed and charisma that Bolt had because fresh faces at the top of their game can be equally exciting for fans, he said on Thursday at Bangalore.
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt kept the sport afloat during an era highlighted by doping scandals as he won sprint doubles at three consecutive Olympics and multiple world titles before retiring in 2017. “We’re so used to having a marquee athlete,” he told reporters in Bangalore, where he is currently for the TCS 10K marathon. “But now we have the opportunity to sit back and really watch athletes blossom and kind of nurture them, cheer them on and see exactly what they can do
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“It was anybody’s race”
Lamont Marcell became the first Italian and clocked a European record time of 9.80 seconds, the first person to do so in the post-Bolt era. “But almost from lane eight, it was anybody’s race. For me, that’s exciting,” Gatlin said. “Of course, we want to see two titans clash at the top. But we have eight athletes at the start line and not knowing who will win.. it puts me on the edge of my seat”.
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He continued, “I want to see a star being born…. That’s what you’re going to see”. Gatlin said that he thinks that Jacobs with be among favourites at the world championships this year. Jacobs won the gold in 60m at the indoor worlds this year. “Jacobs looks great. He’s the most relaxed sprinter I’ve ever seen. You have others …. like Trayvon Bromell and Christian Coleman, but right now it’s a grab bag”.
“So it’s about when the gun goes off and who completes the race the best”. He also said that the future was bright for 18 year old Erriyon Knighton, the American sprinter who broke Usain Bolt’s under-20 200m world record and placed fourth at the Olympic finals. “You look at what’s going to happen next”, Gatlin added. “You had the Olympics last year, the world championships this year and then you’ll have another Olympics, another worlds”.
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