'No disrespect Usain'
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:
American sprinter Mike Rodgers has warned that it will take a low 9.7 seconds time to win the men's 100m final at the Olympic Games and sought to assure that he meant no disrespect to Usain Bolt when he criticised his withdrawal from the National Championships.
Rodgers, reacting to news that Bolt would skip the Jamaican Olympic trials after receiving a medical exemption, stating that Bolt's withdrawal was a 'cop out' and that he wishes he gets beaten so someone could 'put him in his place'.
"I feel like it's a cop-out. He should run just like everybody else. But at the end of the day, he's Bolt. He's an Olympic champ, World champ. So until somebody beats him, until somebody puts him in his place, he's going to continue to do what he wants to do," said Rodgers, who himself failed to qualify for the USA's 100m team here, but will feature in the 4x100m relay.
However, Rodgers is toning down his position, stating that he did not mean to come off as disrespectful, but still feels the Jamaican should have competed.
"He (Bolt) can't feel disrespected because if you are hurt or something like that sometimes you have to deal with injury - what if you got hurt here at the Olympic Games? At the end of the day, he is here and he's probably fit and everyone will probably see him at his best. I'm sure the others are ready to compete, and I'm looking forward to the race," Rodgers told STAR Sports.
"I wouldn't say it was a coward move by him (Bolt). I think he knows that he's the best in his country and he used the card that he can use, if you are Lebron James or you are Messi or someone like that, I guess you can save yourself for the big show," Rodgers said.
The American is expecting his countrymen - especially Justin Gatlin and Trayvon Bromell to play a major role in what he thinks will be a fast race.
"They are looking very good, I feel like it's going to be a very good race, I feel like if you cant run 9.7 then you're not going to medal at all, anything slower than 9.8 wont get on the stand. I will let you know that right now. I feel like it's going to be a very fast race and probably one for the history books," Rodgers said.