Gatlin welcomes new challenges
Despite disappointment at last year's World Championships and the return to form of key rivals, American speedster Justin Gatlin said he is still the man best equipped to take down Usain Bolt at this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Gatlin arrived at his press conference ahead of tomorrow morning's Shanghai Diamond League, sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with an ominous pair of wolf eyes and told STAR Sports that he is on the hunt this season, approaching the year with a fresh perspective.
The former Olympic and World champion arrived in Beijing for the World Championships without a single defeat but lost both the 100m and 200m gold medals to Bolt.
With a less-impressive start this time around, and considering the return to form of Yohan Blake and emergence of Trayvon Bromell, Gatlin remains convinced he will be Bolt's biggest threat.
"I live for these moments," said Gatlin, who is targeting a season-best here.
"I always love competition and last year I trained for seasons like this where people are going to be at the top of their game. I'm glad that everyone is coming back into form. I think it's going to be a star-studded race, a star-studded event (in Rio), and, hopefully, big things will happen," he added.
"The plan is to be as strong as possible and strike at the right moment. Last year was a tough pill to swallow but it grew me as a person and as an athlete," he added.
He'll get his shot at Bolt, but for now he will have to pay attention to another Jamaican, Julian Forte, who will line up alongside the American here with world leader (9.91) Femi Ogunode (Qatar), American pair Mike Rodgers and Isiah Young, as well as Kittitian Kim Collins.