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Gatlin invites Lewis-Francis to join his camp

4 April 2006
www.world-track.org

American World and Olympic 100 meters champion Justin Gatlin has once again offer Britain sprinter Mark Lewis-Francis the opportunity to team up with him in training in the United States.

Following the miserable performances by British sprinters at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, last month Lewis-Francis, a former world junior champion could well consider Gatlin's invitation.

"I have good chemistry with the British guys," Gatlin told Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme on Sunday.

"They are a very good group - and although I don't know any of their coaches, I think they need more discipline and guidance."

"As for Mark, I have told him to come out here and train with me. He and I are the same age and have the same goals, so why not go there together and do it?"

Lewis-Francis anchored the British 4x100 relay team to gold over the Americans at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, but a poor change between himself and Marlon Devonish led to England crashing out in the first round in Melbourne.

"They are Olympic champions in their own right and they have a responsibility to stay on top," said Gatlin.

"You have to be able to do it again consistently. You have to stay on top of the game. The saying 'it's harder to stay on top than to get to the top' is so true."

Gatlin said he share the same burden from his country as the British sprinter, but explained that sometimes you have to make your own goal be first priority.

"I had support staff pushing me even when I didn't want to do it."

"I know where he is coming from. Being 23 years old, your life is still young and the whole country knows who you are - so you want to party and have a good time."

"You want to live it up a little bit, and sometimes that can get out of hand."

"That is when you need to pull yourself aside and say 'Hey, I have a responsibility to my country not to let them down'."

"You find yourself so relaxed about achieving the goal you wanted, that you don't become concerned about goals in the future."

"But to stay on top, that's how you become a legend - and personal pride for me is a big trait, because when you break it all down that's all you have."

"Are you going to go out and compete for yourself and your country and be embarrassed, or are you going to go out and win it?"



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"They are a very good group - and although I don't know any of their coaches, I think they need more discipline and guidance."
"As for Mark, I have told him to come out here and train with me. He and I are the same age and have the same goals, so why not go there together and do it?"" target="digg"> Digg



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