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PROTRACK » International Results & News » Gatlin says he's ready to run hard in comeback races

Gatlin says he's ready to run hard in comeback races

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Gatlin says ready to run hard in his comeback races

RAKVERE Estonia (Reuters) - Sprinter Justin Gatlin is nervous but ready to run under 10 seconds in two 100 meter races in Estonia this week that will launch his return from a four-year doping ban, he said Monday.

Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100 meters champion, will compete at a meeting in Rakvere, Estonia Tuesday and again five days later in Tallinn.

"I will be ready to run and to run fast," Gatlin told a news conference, adding "any athlete would be nervous going into a competition."

He has not run a competitive race since June 2006 after being banned because of a positive test for the male sex hormone testosterone and its precursors.

Gatlin said that using the techniques he has been taught by veteran sprint coach Loren Seagrove, "I can hopefully easily get under 10 seconds."

The 28-year-old, who regained his eligibility in July after serving a four-year ban, said he was looking forward to the next Olympic Games.

"I can't wait for London 2012," he said, adding: "I want to go into the sport given that I might be a just little rusty and have a little dust on me, and I need to just knock it off."

Many expected him to have difficulty finding races even after the ban expired, because of a Euro Meetings recommendation not to invite athletes who bring dispute to the sport.

But organizers of the Estonian meetings, which are not members of the Euro group, said they welcomed Gatlin's participation and looked forward to him setting a new national record for the Baltic country of under 10.10 seconds.

Gatlin's personal best for the 100 meters is 9.85 seconds with no sprinters at the meeting with a personal best under 10 seconds.

His closest rival at the meet will be compatriot J-Mee Samuels, with a season and personal best of 10.19 seconds.

"Let's Go While We're Young"





Gatlin wins again

Reuters - Sun, 08 Aug 18:30:00 2010
Buzz Up!

US sprinter Justin Gatlin clocked 10.17 seconds to win his second consecutive 100 metres final since coming back from a four-year doping ban.

Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100 metres champion, was running at the Ergo World challenge meeting in Tallinn as he works towards the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Before August 3, when he also ran in Estonia, he had not raced competitively since June 2006 after being banned because of a positive test for the male sex hormone testosterone and its precursors.

The 28-year-old regained his eligibility to compete in July but he was expected to have difficulty finding races even after the ban ended because of a Euro Meetings recommendation not to invite athletes who bring disrepute to the sport.

Gatlin bettered his final time from the August 3 meeting where he ran 10.24 seconds. His personal best is 9.85. Fellow American Rubin Williams was second on Sunday in 10.25.

"My start is still a little off but obviously my finish is there," Gatlin told Reuters.

"I am able to surge and finish good, so once I get my start down better... I have some little muscle aches here and there and will go home and rehab a little, but obviously I can show everybody my times can come down by each race."

His coach agreed.

"He is pushing so hard now out of the blocks, that he is having difficulty controlling it. It is like a car that is starting very fast and fish tailing, but the middle part of the race was quite good and then started galloping at the end rather of sprinting smoothly," sprint coach Loren Seagrave told Reuters.

Seagrave added, "there is still room for improvement, the more he runs the more he gets a feel for things."

Seagrave said that Galtin planned to return the United States and will get five or six days of training in, then fly back for the Joensuu meeting in Finland on August 21.

Gatlin remains optimistic that he can run a sub 10-second race before too long.



Gatlin resumes comeback in Finland
By Reuters
Posted: Aug 19, 2:18p ET

Optimistic former Olympic champion Justin Gatlin will continue his comeback from a four-year doping suspension with a 100m race in Joensuu, Finland. Twice a winner already since his ban ended, Gatlin said he already has two other races planned.

"I'm like that train going up the mountain," Gatlin told Reuters on Thursday from Joensuu. "I am steadily growing."

Twice a winner already since his ban ended last month, Gatlin said he also had 100 metres races lined up for Rovereto, Italy, on Aug 31 and Padova, Italy, on Sept 3.

"It feels good to be back," said the 28-year-old, who tested positive for the male sex hormone testosterone and its precursor in 2006.

"I am racing. I'm getting better. People are not pushing me away," said the 2005 double sprint world champion.

His opening two races in Estonia earlier this month showed he continued to have good top-end speed, but his rusty starts left him with times of 10.24 and 10.17 seconds.

He has spent the past week of practice trying to improve his start and smooth out his technique for the first 40 metres of his races.

"In the right conditions with the right people pushing me, I still believe I can run sub-10 this year," said Gatlin, who has a 2004 personal best of 9.85 seconds.

"Every race I build up more and more confidence."

Although excluded from top European races because of a Euro Meetings recommendation not to invite athletes who have served major doping suspensions, Gatlin said he hoped the competitions he has found would prepare him for a bigger stage in the future.

He will be eligible to represent the United States in both the 2011 world championships and 2012 London Olympics, and they will be his goals, the sprinter said.

"It's in my blood to compete there again," Gatlin said.



Gatlin wins 3rd straight 100m race
Saturday, 21 August 2010 17:33

Former world double sprint Champion Justin Gatlin, made it three wins from as many races, since his return to competition, at the Joensuu Games on Saturday in Helsinki.

Gatlin, the winner of the 100/200 metres at the 2005 World Championships held in this same city, ran 10.28 for the win. The American sprinter, now back from a four-year doping ban, beat countryman Rubin Williams by 0.12 seconds, with Jonathan Astrand of Finland placing third in 10.59.

"The wind was really strong, but the running felt good. If the wind had been behind, it would have been a good run," Gatlin said.

In the qualifying heat Gatlin ran a 10.19 with a tailwind of 2.3 meters per second.

The American made his initial return performance at a small meet in Estonia on Aug. 3, winning in 10.24. Five days later, he ran 10.17 to win at the Ergo Games in Tallinn, Estonia.

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