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American legend Lewis says IAAF president was wrong to compare Bolt's feat with his

13 September 2008

By Gary Smith


American nine-time Olympics gold medalist Carl Lewis believes IAAF President Lamine Diack was wrong to compare his achievements with those accomplished by Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt at the just completed Beijing Olympic Games.

Speaking to American sports magazine Sport Illustrated (SI), Lewis, the last man to win an Olympic sprint double before Bolt matched that achievement last month, said he was surprised at the comments made by Diack, suggesting that Bolt's three world record breaking performances were more impressive than him winning four gold medals in 1984.

"I sent him (Diack) an e-mail (after his comments). For him to make that judgment is wrong," Lewis said in an interview with the sports magazine. "He should talk about Usain on his own merits.

"Secondly, I said one of the problems in our sport is there is such an emphasis on records and here you are, the president of the federation, talking about records. The sport should be about competition.

"You can compare us as sprinters, but the thing I am most proud of is that I did multiple events and I long-jumped. There is not a sprinter on the face of this earth that can long jump.

"I tell people all the time that I wasn't a sprinter that long-jumped, I was a long-jumper that sprinted, and that's a fact," he added.

Since breaking the ice with a shock 9.76 seconds at the Jamaica Invitational, Bolt signaled to the world that he was on the verged of establishing something great and he did not disappoint.

The 22-year-old went on to lower his fellow countryman Asafa Powell's 100m world record from 9.74 to 9.72 before shattering the mark along with Michael Johnson's longstanding 200m record at the Olympics.

In total, Bolt finished with three gold medals from as many races, decorated with three world records, an accomplishment that has never been seen before.

So whether you believe that Bolt is or is one of the greatest of all-times, it is hard to deny that the Jamaican has done something great.

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