Usain Bolt responded to Mo Farah‘s challenge to a race. The verdict?
“That sounds fun,” Bolt said. “It’s going to be hard, but for me it’s charity, so it’s just all about fun and enjoyment,”
Farah, the Olympic champion in the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters, plead with Bolt, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion in the 100 and 200, for a meeting of the two biggest track stars in the world.
“It’d be great to be able to do a distance where people vote in what distance will be suitable, and then get a judge and then come in the middle with that distance and train for it,” Farah told Sky Sports.
“Are you up for that?” Farah said, looking into the camera. “Come on, you’ve got to do it.”
Bolt was shown the video and chuckled.
“I’m up for anything,” he said. “Anything’s possible.”
Asked about the distance, Bolt shuddered at running anything close to Farah’s specialties. Not even the 1,500.
“It’s way too far,” he said. “600 for sure I can try because I’ve done 600 meters in training but not 1,500 meters.”
Olympic 800-meter champion David Rudisha has entertained the nation of facing Bolt over 400 or 600 meters — perhaps even on a 4×400 relay. But Rudisha’s knee injury that will keep him out the rest of the year put those plans on hold.
Bolt came up through the junior ranks as a 400-meter runner but has sparingly run the one-lap event in the last few years.
Farah, who is getting into marathon racing, actually recently went down to the 1,500 and broke the British record. He wanted to add the 1,500 to his schedule at the world championships in Moscow next month, but the 1,500 semifinals and the 5,000 final are on the same night. That’s too much even for the great Farah.
So, 600 meters seems like a fair meeting point.
Perhaps the most famous meeting of track champions came in 1997, when Atlanta Olympic champions Donovan Bailey (100) and Michael Johnson (200 and 400) met to determine the world’s fastest man for a $1 million prize.
That showdown had quite the anticlimactic finish.