US athlete Gatlin warns the world to brace for South African explosion

07 March 2018 - 17:04 By David Isaacson
US athlete and world's fastest man Justin Gatlin is flanked by South African sprinter Anaso Jobodwana (L) and Akani Simbine during a press conference ahead of the Pretoria leg of the Liquid Telecom Athletics Grand Prix at the Tuks Stadium on Wednesday March 7 2018.
US athlete and world's fastest man Justin Gatlin is flanked by South African sprinter Anaso Jobodwana (L) and Akani Simbine during a press conference ahead of the Pretoria leg of the Liquid Telecom Athletics Grand Prix at the Tuks Stadium on Wednesday March 7 2018.
Image: Mahlatse Mphahlele

Justin Gatlin says South African athletes are definitely on the rise‚ specifically naming 400m king Wayde van Niekerk‚ sprinter Akani Simbine and middle-distance star Caster Semenya.

The American world 100m champion was speaking at a press conference in Pretoria on Wednesday ahead of his 150m race at the Tuks track where he will take on Anaso Jobodwana.

“Watching these guys‚ they’ve not only become physically better‚ but you can tell psychologically.

"The confidence that they’ve gained and you can tell they feed off each other‚" he said.

“Watching Caster in the 800‚ watching Akani in the 100‚ watching Wayde do his thing in the 400‚ it’s kind of like catching fire.

“I think you’re going to be seeing these guys on the podium once again countless times over and over.”


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