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Bolt vows to turn the tables on arch-rival Spearmon

4 June 2007

By Gary Smith

Jamaica's World Junior 200m record holder Usain Bolt, who was defeated at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York by Wallace Spearmon, has promised that one day he will return the favour to American who keeps getting the better of him in the 200m dashes.

On a perfect day for sprinting and even distance running, Bolt saw what looked like a certain victory snatched away from him in the last 30m of the race and he promised that he will go back to Jamaica and work out a plan to improve his record against Spearmon in the half-lap.

"He's always getting me like that (catching me close to the finish), but one of these days I'm going to get him," Bolt said after his defeat in front of a spirited group of Jamaicans in New York.

Bolt and Spearmon, described as two of the most dynamic young sprinters in the sport and two of the youngsters listed among the five athletes ready to revive the half-lap, entertained the large crowd here at the Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island with two sizzling runs as the Reebok men's 200m lived up to its billing.

Spearmon raced home with a superb late kick in 19.82, while Bolt, who looked disheartened following the defeat, posted a seasonal best of 19.88.

Asked what can he do to stop Spearmon from creeping up on him and overtake him, Bolt, the 2002 world junior champion at age 15, said he just has to go home and work on the finishing parts of his race.

"It happens to me over and over. He always keeps coming from behind and beat me so I'm just going home and practice a lot and work on the last 30m of my race and I think I'll get him next time," he said.

Despite the defeat, Bolt said he and his American counterpart are friends and are destined to take the event to the level at which it was when the great Michael Johnson set the World record of 19.32 seconds at the Olympic Games in 1996.

"We're friends," said Bolt. "We've become friends over time."

Meanwhile, Spearmon, the reigning world silver medallist and American indoor record-holder, said he has been taking keen notes of Bolt's progression all season and he too worked on a master plan to get the Jamaican in the straight away.

"I have been watching Usain all year," Spearmon said after running the second fastest time in the world this year.

"He has been running 400m all year so I figured he'll be strong....I just want to wait until he got next to me and keep doing what I do - finish strong in the last 100m.

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