- POSTED: 18 Jun 2014 03:58
Justin Gatlin showed his dominance on the 100-metre track as he set a new world-leading time of 9.86sec for an easy win at the Czech Golden Spike event.
OSTRAVA, Czech Republic: Justin Gatlin showed his dominance on the 100-metre track as he set a new world-leading time of 9.86sec for an easy win at the Czech Golden Spike event on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old American sprinter has now run the four fastest sprints this season in which he has so far failed to take on the world's fastest man Usain Bolt, who is recovering from a foot injury.
On a sunny but windy evening in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava, Gatlin beat compatriot Mike Rodgers (10.08) and veteran former world champion Kim Collins, 38, of St Kitts and Nevis (10.12).
"I feel good, to come out here, to run another world-leading time. I was looking at a better time but I'm very happy with it," Gatlin said after the race.
"I felt Kim Collins right there especially for the first couple of steps (but then) I came up and I started turning over, I think my turnover rate is higher, stronger this year."
"(The wind) was kind of going back and forth, I just blocked it out," added the 2004 Olympic champion, who served a four-year ban for doping between 2006-10.
After easing through the finish line, he reprimanded himself for slowing too early.
"Once I get to do some other races where the competition will be rested and stronger, I have to make sure that I run to the line," said Gatlin.
With a personal best of 9.79sec from the 2012 London Olympics at which he won the bronze, Gatlin is eyeing an improvement following his impressive streak this year.
"Hopefully (I'll get) to the low 9.7's, maybe high 9.6's.
"I'll go home and rest, have a big break, about two weeks, and after that go to Lausanne, Monaco, Linz, so there's going to be some more races in Europe," he explained, adding he would skip the US championships at end-June.
Gatlin also bemoaned Bolt's absence from the Ostrava meet where he had been due to run before pulling out two weeks ago.
"I'm a true competitor at heart, I want to race against the best," said Gatlin.
"If I could go back in time and bring Carl Lewis and Maurice Greene and all of them back and run against them, I would love it. That would be a dream to run against the best in the world.
"I hope (Bolt) gets better, hope his foot heals up, and hopefully I'll see him this year or maybe next year.
"Right now I'm glad I'm battling against Kim Collins as one of the greatest athletes out there."
Gatlin's compatriot Allyson Felix, a four-time Olympic gold medallist coming back from a hamstring injury that had plagued her throughout 2013, won her preferred 200 metres in 22.75, 0.3sec behind her season best.
"It is a bit weird for me to reach a perfect shape after my injury from the last year. The wind here disturbed me a bit," she said.
Britain's Niall Flannery took the honours in the 400m hurdles, clocking 48.80 and leaving behind Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton, who finished third in his personal best of 48.94.
In pole vault, France's Renaud Lavillenie won his 11th event in a row with 5.83m but stayed nine centimetres short of his season best.