Our friend, Stuart Weir, is back on the road, covering Lausanne, Monaco and London for us. This is his first of several on Lausanne. We enjoy Stuart’s commentary on the athletes, many he has followed for many years. We also like his sense of humor, although, I for one, would sure like to see Justin Gatlin over 400 meters!
Justin Gatlin won the men’s 100m in 9.92, having previously run 9.87 for second place at Pre. He said of Lausanne: “It was a smooth race. I was coming here to finish strong. I was instructed to have a clean start. On the last ten meters I felt like I was winning. I’m going to run in Monaco next week and then go home. I’m feeling strong and more competitive. The podium is not promised at the World Championships”.
Picking up that final comment, Gatlin told me earlier in the week that already having a wild card for Doha as reigning champion, would not change his plans for the season, saying: “I want to approach the season thinking that I don’t have the bye. So I will be preparing myself for the nationals as if I have to make the team. Going into races, sharpening myself up and when I get to the World Championships I am going to run like I earned my spot to be there”.
At the event press conference he was asked what event he would do in the US Championships, he replied: “The shot-put”, adding, “No, but seriously, lots of field-eventers think they can spring, but one doesn’t often see sprinters move into other disciplines like hurdles, it is harder for them. At US, I will only run the 100m”.
He was also asked about the 400m he had run this season and how he coped with the lactic acid in the final stages. He replied that he didn’t run it very quickly and kept some energy for the final phase. And no, he will not run the 400 in the US trials!
Gatlin, who is 37, said that he aimed to run in the 2020 Olympics and then retire. He explained: “Getting older or age does not change much about training in the run up to Doha. It is more about season patterns being different. The season is unorthodox and we have never run in October before. So it is about being more patient, consistent and competitive
And that is harder for sprinters because we like to be fast and aggressive, to go out and do the best we can. But it is a long way away off, so I think it’s about preparing ourselves so that when the moment comes, we are ready”.