Gatlin 'hungry' for Rio after Brussels win

BRUSSELS • Justin Gatlin has warned that he will be "hungry" when the Rio Olympics rolls around next year, after bringing to an end a "successful yet bittersweet" year in which he won double world sprint silvers.

Gatlin, in the absence of Jamaican star Usain Bolt, won the 100m in 9.98sec at Friday's season-ending Diamond League meet in Brussels, but suffered a thigh strain that saw him withdraw from the 200m as a precaution.

The controversial American, who has served two doping bans, said his experience at last month's World Championships in Beijing was bittersweet, as Bolt beat him to both the 100m and 200m golds.

"I regard it as a successful season," the 33-year-old American said, after he set the fastest 100m of the year - 9.74sec - in Doha in May.

"To be able to come away from a World Championships, where some great athletes didn't even get to the finals or make the podium, with two silvers, I'm happy with that.

"Obviously I want more, so that's going to make me hungry in 2016."

World champion Dafne Schippers proved that she will be the sprinter to beat over 200m at the Rio Games with victory over Olympic champion Allyson Felix.

The Dutchwoman, a former heptathlete who took the 200m world title in Beijing with the fourth-fastest time in history, pulled clear to finish in 22.12sec.

American Felix, who won the 400m in Beijing but did not run the 200m due to a scheduling clash, was a further 0.10sec back, but did at least have the consolation of winning the season-long Diamond Race and its US$40,000 (S$56,500) cash prize.

Schippers, 23, said she was delighted to have settled any lingering debate about who is the fastest for now. "If you can win everything, it gives you a good feeling. It's a fine way of ending the season," she said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 13, 2015, with the headline 'Gatlin 'hungry' for Rio after Brussels win'. Print Edition | Subscribe