2016 Rio Olympics

Rio Olympics 2016 Athletics: Usain Bolt as fast as Michael Johnson?

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Eckhard Pecher/Wikimedia

Usain Bolt is considered the “fastest man alive”, but former Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson stated in an interview that he would have beaten the Jamaican superstar when he was at his peak.

“I would have been first,” Johnson stated jokingly to Radio Times. “He thinks the time would have been 19.01 or 19.02. I think we would have been around 18.99, so we differ on that – but we both agree that we each would have won!”

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Johnson previously held the world record (19.32 seconds) for 200 meters, which he set at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta in the United States. Bolt beat Johnson’s record at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with a time of 19.30 seconds. The Jamaican would again beat his own record improving to 19.19 seconds at the World Championships in Germany in 2009.

Johnson is already 48 years old and was joking with Bolt, who is considered the best in the sport in the current generation and in the history of athletics.

“Lifting the sport up is going to happen by reforms from within. Regaining credibility in terms of the doping and the corruption that’s taken place is not going to happen in Rio or by the end of this year. It’s a step-by-step process,” Johnson added to turn serious and comment on the status of the sport.

“When Usain Bolt retires, you’re not going to see athletics go down to rock bottom. You’re not going to find anyone bigger than Bolt any time soon and what did that do for the sport? It did nothing. It shouldn’t be on him to carry the sport.”

Johnson is an American sprinter who was the sports’ biggest star before the arrival of Bolt. He has won four Olympic gold medals and eight World Championship gold medals. Johnson still holds the world record in the 400m category, running for 43.18 seconds in the World Championships in Spain in 1999.

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For all his accomplishments, both in Olympics and the World Championships, Bolt was named the IAAF World Athlete of the Year five times from 2008 to 2013. He is one of the most popular athletes in the Rio Games this year and fans are waiting to see if he can break more world records and bring home more gold medals

Photo courtesy: Eckhard Pecher/Wikimedia

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