“When you look at people like Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, Maurice Greene, the key to their success was not world records — it was their dominance,” Gatlin told reporters ahead of his return to the track at Friday’s Zurich Golden League meeting. “Those athletes dominated just about every race they stepped in. And that’s what I want to do.”
He talks a lot of smack about Asafa Powell, the world record holder at the 100m (which he ran in Athens this year on June 14). Both of them have had great races, but neither has had their great races against one another. After Gatlin accused Powell of having a big mouth and then pulling out due to his pulled groin from racing him, Powell had this to say:
“There are too many good, young athletes coming through right now. Then look what’s happened to me — not even able to compete because of an injury. So, no, I don’t think anyone can really dominate. By running 9.77 this year I did something no one has ever done though. There are gold medals at every world championships but I’m the fastest man in the world ever. I’m sure a lot of people would like to have that world record, and I’m sure that includes Justin Gatlin.”
I foresee that both of them are going to have a good rivalry going for the next year or two at least, and that both are going to keep things interesting. Hopefully it stays good-natured though; rivalries are fun, but vendettas aren’t. It will be interesting to see who sets the better record, and how well he can keep it.