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Boldon: “I’m not buying it” – Gatlin’s 9.76 and Fasuba’s 9.84 record runs

15 May 2006
www.world-track.org

Ato Boldon and Justin Gatlin (AtoBoldon.com/Image of Sport) Ato Boldon and Justin Gatlin (AtoBoldon.com/Image of Sport)

By Gary Smith

The debate as to whether the world record performance by Justin Gatlin at the Qatar IAAF World Super Tour in Doha, on Friday, reached another height after former Trinidad sprinting star Ato Boldon said he's not buying into it.

"It's not about Gatlin per se. There is no hating going on," Boldon, who is one of few athletes to win Junior and Senior World Championships gold medals said.

Looking back at both Gatlin and Olusoji Fasuba performances at the meeting, Boldon, who featured in two world record races during his career, said the race looked nothing of record breaking status.

"Sorry, the race (was) not impressive for either of them (Gatlin and Fasuba). Start is below average at best for Gatlin, and his finish wasn't amazing enough to say oh yeah that is a 9.7 anything.

There have been doubts about the timing of the record run, which Boldon quickly squash by saying "forget the "WR don't happen in May" thing. I almost did it twice, in April - mid April."

However, the Trinidadian revealed Fasuba is nowhere in 9.84 shape or form and with Gatlin, who opened his season with a 9.95 run in Osaka, Japan, on May 6 stunned with his own performance, he's not convinced the resulting times are correct, which he feels could rob the sport of its prestige.

"We have to leave room for a great race," the three-time Olympian wrote on his track website. "My first sub 20 was 19.86. Maurice's PR went from 10.06 to 9.86 in one season ('96-'97)....so, I have thoughts which can be made in support of either side.

"From what I have heard from people who were there, and what I know about my event, sorry, I am not buying it. Gatlin is not ready yet to run that fast, IMO, and the Nigerian is nowhere in that kind of form, class or shape. Wind gauge would be my bet.

"Anytime an unknown becomes equal to the 3rd fastest man ever without so much as one-sub ten in life, or some good 10.0s even, the people who know start to look at history, precedents and numbers," 31-year-old Boldon said, referring to Fasuba debut sub-10sec run.

"Those of you who think this is a "we dont know him and therefore can't accept this time" are showing you are track fans and not track aficionados. All of the ones I have talked to are highly skeptical, even those who do NOT have any reason to be on any side.

"First sub ten is 9.84. Not buying it."

Boldon, who has had his success at junior and senior level, including four Olympic medals and two gold medals at the world juniors in Seoul in 1992, said it is evident that every top sprinters in the sport gradually progressed to the next level, something he has seen in Fasuba's progression.

"This is an anomaly. The Nigerian is the red flag. In history, you approach a barrier before you blow it away. I had 20.00 and a bunch of 20.0s then 19.8 came...Mo ran 9.9 low in Europe, then comes the 9.86 at Worlds."

"Michael Johnson ran 19.66 before 19.32 came weeks later. Asafa (Powell) ran 9.8 for weeks before 9.77 happened. Even Tim (Montgomery) had 9.8s before 9.78 came. Tenth and Two Tenth jumps just don't have precedent in this event! ANYWHERE!"

"Come on, even the blindest supporters have to put some thought into how a 10.09 sprinter runs a time to make him faster than all but 2 men in history in May after a very average Commonwealth Games weeks earlier...is that hating or is that sense? Is that hating or can that be deemed plausible, or arguable at least?"

Many track fans may disagree with the comments made by Boldon, but even Fasuba's coach Pierre-Jean George, did not think his pupil was in the sort of form to produce such a performance.

Nonetheless, Gatlin is the world record holder and Fasuba is the African record holder, and while Boldon and others continues to debate, George and Gatlin's camp continue to celebrate.



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Looking back at both Gatlin and Olusoji Fasuba performances at the meeting, Boldon, who featured in two world record races during his career, said the race looked nothing of record breaking status.
"Sorry, the race (was) not impressive for either of them (Gatlin and Fasuba). Start is below average at best for Gatlin, and his finish wasn't amazing enough to say oh yeah that is a 9.7 anything."" target="digg"> Digg



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