- Pace bounces back with strong finish in Thailand
- Blitzboks take it easy before Las Vegas Sevens
- Maripa bags first title of the year in Bolton
- England wrap up Summer Series with 2-0 win against SA
- Five more Meet records at SA Grand Prix
- Fichardt nails 15th Sunshine Tour win at Joburg Open
- SA duo struggle at Tokyo Marathon
- Le Clos leads the way at SA Grand Prix in Stellenbosch
- SA women lead but go down to England in Summer Series
- Rain delay shortens Joburg Open still further
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.