Bolt challenges Rudisha, Farah, Van Niekerk to 500m dash

Sunday, June 11, 2017

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Sprint king and triple world record holder Usain Bolt has proposed an enticing 600m clash between himself, 800m record holder David Rudisha and distance King Mo Farah.

But after serious consideration, Bolt reduced the distance to 500m and included 400m world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk.

Bolt raised the possibilities while the athletes fielded questions from the media at a JN Racers Grand Prix press conference on Thursday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel.

Bolt, Rudisha, Farah, Van Niekerk, Allyson Felix, Christian Taylor and Sally Pearson all shared the stage at the same time in an interactive question and answer session.

“I have two questions, one to Wayde. Do you feel like you can run 42 seconds?” Bolt asked. After a little hesitation, Van Niekerk replied: “Of course.”

“That's what I like,” Bolt added.

Last year after training with Van Niekerk, Bolt encouraged and even predicted that the South African would erase Michael Johnson 400m world record of 43.18 seconds set in 1999.

Bolt then turned his attention to his very good friend, Britain's Mo Farah, who twice won the 5,000m and 10,000 at two consecutive Olympics.

“This is for Farah. What do you feel, me, you and Rushisha, who would win?”

Farah, sitting between Sally Pearson and Van Niekerk, burst out laughing.

“Farah replied: “600… I think I got a better chance, I think because of my endurance.”

Bolt then interjected and reminded Farah that the race would also include Rudisha.

“Oh sorry, I thought it was just me,” said Farah laughing. “That completely changes things. That turns the table around. Rudisha would be pretty strong because the guy has run 1:40 minutes for 800. He would jog and still have us.”

Bolt then turned the question to the soft-spoken Kenyan star Rudisha. “What do you think?”

Rudisha smiled, before saying: “600m, I think I would have a lot of advantage when it comes to 600 because I do sometimes 400m and 800. So I am right in the middle and Mo, I don't think you have a chance there. For 600m, I already have the fastest time of 1:13 minutes,” said Rudisha.

Bolt was then asked what are his chances of winning that 600m clash.

“How do you mean? What chance?” the 100m and 200m world record holder asked.

“My coach will tell anybody. if I really took this 400 seriously, sorry Wayde, but I would be the world record holder right now,” said Bolt.

“But now that I think about it, I might have to drop it (600m race) down to 500 then we can add Wayde to the group and it would be a good run,” he added.

Meanwhile, a race between Bolt and Argentine football star Lionel Messi was proposed. One without a ball and one with a ball.

— Howard Walker

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