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Atkins says he's a championships runner, not a one shot hitter

17 July 2008

By Gary Smith

Bahamian World Championships 100-metres silver medallist Derrick Atkins says the attention being given to his main rivals this season will not unsettle his preparations for the Olympic Games.

At this time last year, Atkins was the man of the hour -- putting pressure on his competition with some outstanding performances in Europe.

Moreover, around this time last season he had already run two sub-10 seconds timings (9.95 and 9.98) and an even 10-seconds and was even considered most dangerous to upset his main rivals Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay for the world title.

However, the Bahamian national record holder has being going through a more timely approach this season, but he says he is a championships competitor and everything will fall into place come the Olympic Games next month.

"I am a championships runner," Atkins warns. "The rest of the meets are just helping me out... just helping me get towards the goal I have set.

"I am not a one shot hitter like most of the guys out there. It takes me rounds and more races to get going."

Atkins, who missed out on some of his winter workouts because of surgery in December, improved his seasonal best to 10.04-secs when finishing second at the Golden Gala meeting in Roma, Italy last Friday.

He also put together one of his better races this season to win comfortably at the Tsiklitiria 2008 in Athens, Monday evening and, except for some wrinkles needing to be ironed out, the Bahamian believes he is right on the mark.

"The whole goal is to work up to the Olympic Games in Beijing," the former Dickinson State University star sprinter said. "There's just some stuff I've got to iron out. I am feeling good."

With less than a month to go before the Olympic Games, the focus of attention for the men's 100m title has been centered surround Jamaica's Usain Bolt, the world record holder, his teammate Asafa Powell, the former record holder and American world sprint double champion Tyson Gay.

But Atkins, who crept up to separate Gay and Powell to win the silver in Osaka, last summer, is not worried about the situation.

"It was the same thing last year no big difference," he said. "Just a couple more names into the poll.

"I'm not worried about it because at the end of the day I know what I am capable of doing and I am going for gold [in Beijing]," he promised.

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