- Van Dyk fourth and motivated after excited mass finish in London
- Olympic rowers for Arnold Classic Africa
- Haig hits comeback trail with a vengeance at Killarney
- Mabulu grabs bronze, kata team wins three medals in Madagascar
- Cremona pulls out all the stops with best throw on SA soil
- Five-stroke cushion as Mistry makes her move
- SA five burn up the rinks in Europe
- Hamman changes tack and is rewarded with hurdles title
- Mansfield moves on to WP Amateur in confident mood
- February and McDougall take the spoils at Dairy
Bolt not the best yet?
- Updated: June 11, 2009
Triple Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt may have smashed world records and drawn comparisons with Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis but he’s still not the greatest… not yet, according to Michael Johnson.
Four-time Olympic champion Johnson was speaking after Jamaica’s Bolt was announced as Laureus World Sportsman of the Year this week.
“Every now and then comes an athlete for the times and I believe Usain Bolt is that athlete,”┬á said Johnson. “It happened for me in 1996, it happened with Carl Lewis in 1984 and Jesse Owens in 1936 and now it is happening for Usain. “He doesn’t just want to win races and medals, he wants to test the limits.”
Bolt smashed both the 100 and 200 metres world records at the Beijing Olympics last year, running 9.69 seconds in the 100 and 19.30 seconds in the 200.
But Johnson, still the 400 metres world record holder who lost his 200 metres record to Bolt, said he was not ready yet to proclaim the Jamaican the best sprinter of all-time. “For him to be the greatest, he’ll have to win gold at another Olympics or a world championship, show some consistency and longevity,” Johnson said. “But there’s no reason for me to think he can’t do it.”
The 22-year-old Bolt was set to run his first major 100 metres of the year in Toronto on Thursday and Bolt said the race would be a good gauge of his training. Americans Shawn Crawford, who finished second in the 200 in Beijing, Bernard Williams and Ivory Williams also are in the field. All have run under 10 seconds.
Bolt was non-commital when asked if he would move up to the 400 metres in the future. “A lot of people are saying I should… I’m thinking about it, but I’m not sure yet,” he said, adding he and his coach were still trying to decide if he should attempt to repeat the 100-200 double in London in 2012, or if he might try a 200-400 double.
Johnson said he thinks Bolt can better his 400 metres world record of 43.18 seconds. He also said he wanted to see Bolt race Tyson Gay in the 200. The American recently ran the third fastest 200 of all-time, 19.58 seconds.
“He knows that that is really his opportunity to challenge Usain Bolt and that’s one of the matchups that I’m anticipating most this year,” Johnson said.