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Bailey talks of breaking his record and a Johnson rematch

June 28, 1997

LONDON (AP) _ Donovan Bailey says a rematch of his race against Michael Johnson would end up the same way.

``There’s a huge difference between power sprinting and endurance sprinting,″ Bailey said. ``If we had, let’s say, myself or Linford (Christie) running at 400 meters, Michael would hammer us. Over 100, he has not got a chance.

``I respect Michael a great deal as an athlete because he’s the greatest endurance sprinter. But, so far as power sprinting is concerned, it’s like a sedan against a turbo-charged Porsche.″

When the two met June 1 in a head-to-head, 150-meter race in Toronto, Bailey was leading about halfway through the race at the SkyDome when Johnson pulled up with an injured quadricep.

Although track’s world governing body said it would not sanction an event staged with the Toronto format, there is speculation a rematch could be held on a track in a parking lot at Las Vegas in late August or September.

``There’s no reason why not,″ Bailey’s manager, Ray Flynn, said. ``You can put a Mondo track down anywhere. Las Vegas might be an appropriate place for it.

``I also believe that the people who support Michael will want him to have the chance to show his ability at this distance.″

Bailey said he would like to see a rematch set in the context of a properly organized, full-scale track meet.

``I would like it done in a track atmosphere with organizers who understand what track and field is all about,″ Bailey said. ``Publicity was needed for the sport in North America, with Grand Prix meets getting canceled one year after the Olympic Games.

``But the race in Toronto was just about the two biggest athletes in North America and it became a patriotic thing, the U.S. vs. Canada.″

Bailey also said he’s capable of breaking the world 100-meter record he set in last year’s Olympic final at Atlanta.

``I’m running faster now than I was running this time last year,″ the Canadian said Friday. ``I’m lighter than I was and I’m a lot stronger. Last year I was 196 pounds and now I’m 188.

``I ran 9.94 seconds in Paris two days ago and I’m capable of running more 9.9s and even less.″

Bailey ran 9.84 when he won the gold medal at Atlanta and figures he might have to do as well or better when he defends his world title at Athens in August.

``Physically, there’s a ton of guys out there who can run in the 9.8s, sub 9.9 anyway,″ he said. ``My goal is to run the perfect race, although right now I’m far from that. I need to improve my first 30 (meters) and my last 30. But I have been spending time improving the technical parts of my racing.″

Bailey will run against Christie, the British 1992 Olympic champion, and six others in a winner-take-all $82,500, 150-meter race at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium on Sunday. He also will run a 100-meter race on the fast Lausanne, Switzerland track Wednesday.

``I usually do well there,″ said Bailey, who feels he can better the 9.92 he ran at Lausanne last year, when he finished second to Frank Fredericks of Namibia.

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