The race that many have been waiting for has finally happened. Justin Gatlin made his comeback with a 10.24 second win in Estonia. Not quite vintage Gatlin, but not bad for the beginning of a comeback. After all it’s been four long years since he has raced, so this would seem to be a nice starting point. Much better than if he had run something like 10.4x.
First half of the race was technical but not sharp. Second half better turnover. About what you would expect with four years rust. Now the questions are can he get the kind of competition he needs to get really sharp, and can he become competitive again?
As of today the troika of Bolt/Gay/Powell is certainly out of reach – 10.24 is a way off from the 9.8x/9.7x range frequently inhabited by this trio. But 10.24 is close to 10.00, and possibly under, an area where the rest of the world’s sprinters reside. Can he get THERE before the season plays out in this remaining month or so of competition? And certainly he has enough time to work his way to that range between now and June of next year (Daegu Trials).
That is the journey for Gatlin that will be the one to watch – the journey to the Trials. Gatlin’s 10.24 entered him into the yearly list at =81. Equal to Shawn Crawford and Alonso Edward and a touch faster than Curtis Mitchell, Samuel Francis and Marvin Anderson. A tenth faster should get him out of next year’s quarterfinals and into the semifinals at Trials. Of course the semis tend to be blistering and sub10’s common. That is the road that Gatlin faces. That is what it will take to get back to where he was – competing in championships. Because, after all, that is where he made his reputation. And anything less would be, well something less.
We will see where he ends up, but below is the start of the journey.
BIGBANK Kuldliiga Finaal
1 2 Justin GATLIN USA 10,24 -0.6 Finaal
2 4 J-Mee SAMUELS USA 10,31 -0.6 Finaal
3 3 Rubin WILLIAMS USA 10,54 -0.6 Finaal
4 67 Aleksandr LINNIK BLR 10,67 -0.6 Finaal
5 5 Ronalds ARAJS LAT 10,74 -0.6 Finaal
6 6 Kostyatin VASYUKOV UKR 10,83 -0.6 Finaal
7 12 Asko ANIPAI 02.10.1989 KJK Lõunalõvi 10,99 -0.6 Finaal
49 Sekou CLARKE JAM DNS Finaal
Prinditud: 03.08.2010 21:00