I'm pacing myself this season - Gatlin

May 16, 2016
@Normal:Justin Gatlin

SHANGHAI, China:

Still smarting form his second-place finish at last year's World Championships in Beijing, after dominating in the build-up to the showpiece event, American sprinter Justin Gatlin said he is pacing himself this time around as he targets prime conditioning when it matters most.

Gatlin went unbeaten in seven 100m and 200m races before losing to Usain Bolt in the finals of both events inside the Bird's Nest.

He had posted 9.74 and 9.75 in his first two100m races.

Now, with an ankle injury interrupting his preparations this season, Gatlin was forced to slow down and is yet to show the dizzying speeds he demonstrated from his very first meet in Doha at the beginning of May last year.

Gatlin won here on Saturday, dipping below 10 seconds to winning in 9.94 seconds.

"I will say it's (slower start to season) more intentional just to make sure I'm in top form for the Olympic trials, which will be tough, and then resting and getting in shape for the Olympics. So I don't want to get too burnt out before the really important part of the season," Gatlin said before Saturday's race.

"I was in a situation where I was fatigued and tired, and I gave the best I could at that point in time in Beijing. Now I am training to be a better athlete and try and stay focused within myself when it comes to competition and I hope it will turn around for me when it comes to Rio 2016," he added.

"Every day it's (ankle) got stronger and better. I have been working around the clock."

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