Gatlin confident of Olympic gold in 2021
Former Olympic and world 100m champion Justin Gatlin says he can win gold at the Tokyo Olympics despite him likely being 39 when the postponed Games take place.
The Olympics, due to begin in July, were postponed this week because of the coronavirus pandemic.
American Gatlin, 38, won gold at Athens 2004 and the world title in London in 2017 after a second doping ban.
Asked if he could win in Tokyo, he told TMZ Sports: “My educated guess is yes.”
The Games will be staged “no later than summer 2021”, according to the International Olympic Committee. Gatlin, who turns 39 in February, said: “A lot of people think that time is against me, but that is far from the truth.
“Resting your body, refocusing yourself and staying hungry, we will come back re-energised for 2021.
“My body has not been worn down by running a lot of races in 2020. It won’t be that big of a difference being 38 to being 39.”
Gatlin served a four-year between 2006 and 2010 after testing positive for testosterone, his second doping offence after a year’s suspension for using a banned amphetamine in 2001.
His victory at London 2017, when he shocked a retiring Usain Bolt and fellow American Christian Coleman, was greeted by jeers from the crowd.
Gatlin did not rule out continuing beyond 2021, saying the example of American football star Tom Brady, who signed a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week at the age of 42, had inspired him.
“It’s giving me hope that that maybe a 40-year-old Justin Gatlin on track won’t be too crazy,” he said. (BBC Sport)