Bolt has a 'legitimate challenger' in Blake: Michael Johnson

Jul 06, 2012, 08:22 IST | AFP

Legendary athlete Michael Johnson feels record-breaking champion Usain Bolt has a 'legitimate challenger' in Yohan Blake for London Olympics

Track legend Michael Johnson said Yohan Blake, who won the sprint double at the Jamaican Olympic trials, was a “legitimate challenger” to defending Olympic champion Usain Bolt. But the American insisted that Bolt was still his favourite to win three gold medals in London, as he did at the Beijing Games in 2008.

Fight to the finish: Yohan Blake (left) and Usain Bolt compete during the recent Jamaican Olympic Athletic Trials. Pic/AFP

“Yohan Blake showed he will take advantage when Bolt does not perform at his best. Bolt now has a legitimate challenger and will need to be at his best in London to defend his
Olympic title,” Johnson said in an interview with

“But I think Usain can do whatever he wants to do! He’s got that type of talent and he wants to win three gold medals again. I would say if he gets to the starting line healthy, at his best, everyone else at their best, he wins every time, I mean he’s just that good.”

Johnson, who won four Olympic gold medals at 200m, 400m and 4x400m relay and is also an eight-time world gold medallist, added that he thought Bolt could run even faster than his 9.58sec world record.

“He could break the world record again, he could run 9.5sec, lower. Ultimately if he were to really be focused and committed on cleaning up his technique, he could probably run 9.4sec, but he would have to do some major training and adjustments in the way that he runs. He’s not a very clean sprinter, if you look at him from a bio-mechanical standpoint. Usain Bolt could absolutely run faster, but it would take a tremendous commitment on his part to do a complete overhaul of his technique.”

Bolt pulls out of Diamond League
Sprint star Usain Bolt has withdrawn from the Diamond League meet in Monaco on July 20, which was to have been his last outing before the London Olympics, after picking up a “slight problem” at the Jamaican trials. The defending 100 and 200m Olympic champion, briefly received medical treatment on the track after crossing the finish line.

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