Justin Gatlin: I am ready for Shanghai
Shanghai (September 13) - Olympic and world men's sprint champion Justin Gatlin says he's fit and ready to assume the title of world's fastest man again in Saturday's eagerly-anticipated 2005 Shanghai Golden Grand Prix.
The 23-year-old Brooklyn-born sprint sensation arrived in Shanghai confident of defeating his rivals in the 100 metres as China gets ready for high drama and top class action at the Shanghai Stadium.
Gatlin, who became only the second man after fellow-American Maurice Greene to win the 100-200 double at last month's Helsinki World Championships, will be raging favourite in the blue ribband race in Shanghai -- and he said he won't disappoint.
"I am looking really good and I expect to do well. I am fit and I'm ready to compete in the 100 metres in Shanghai,'' said the American.
"After Monaco [Gatlin's last competition], I am looking to putting down a fast time in the 100 metres. I suffered from a bit of cramping in the 200 metres [where he finished fourth in Monaco], but I am okay now,'' he said.
Gatlin was also looking forward to his first trip to China and was aiming to run a sub ten second time in Shanghai.
"Hopefully I will do that in Shanghai. I am ready to do it.''
Gatlin will receive plenty of opposition in the Chinese city as he competes against former world and Olympic champion Maurice Greene and other world class sprinters such as Ghana's Aziz Zakari and Puerto Rico's Francis Obikwelu. He will also face fellow American Leonard Scott as well as top Japanese sprinter Nobuhara Asahara and China's Hu Kai and Zhou Wei.
Apart from the men's 100 metres sprint in Shanghai, there will be plenty of other top quality events as China host their biggest and important athletics meeting.
In the men's 200 metres sprint, American Tyson Gay, who recently won the 200 metres ahead of Gatlin at the IAAF World Athletics final in Monaco, is ready to take his place in China's most prestigious athletics meeting. World champion Lauryn Williams of the US will be favourite to win the women's 100 metres sprint as another confirmed entry.
The most highly-anticipated race will undoubtedly be the men's 110 metres hurdles, where China's Liu Xiang will be hoping to grab glory in front of a top class field that will include world champion Ladji Doucoure of France and the legendary Allen Johnson of the United States.
The 2005 Shanghai Golden Grand Prix has been approved by the IAAF and will offer grand prix points in China's first and most important athletics competition of its kind. It will offer the highest standard of competition in the world with 15 world and Olympic champions confirmed for the showpiece athletics event.
The event is organised by the Chinese Athletic Association and Shanghai Sports Federation and managed by the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix Co Ltd and International Athletics Management Ltd and co-managed by the Shanghai East Asia Sports and Recreation Center Co., Ltd.
For tickets, please call 86-21-64265678 or 86-21-54076366 or visit the website www.shgoldengp.com for more details.