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Usain Bolt ponders TV work, compliments Justin Gatlin

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Usain Bolt is not interested in his own TV show in retirement, but analyst work may be in his future.

“I know I’m a showman, but I’m not really into television that much to be having my own show or anything,” Bolt said Monday in Ostrava, two days before he races in the Czech city for a ninth time. “I just like entertaining the crowd.

“We’ll see about the TV [commentary] part. I’m not sure, but I’m sure somebody will want me to do some stuff with them.”

Bolt will race a 100m in Ostrava on Wednesday at 2:55 p.m. ET against a weak field. He continues to prepare for his farewell world championships in London in August before hanging up the spikes.

Bolt repeated Monday that he may race again this season after worlds.

He goes into Wednesday’s race, his second of the season, ranked No. 22 in the world in the 100m. Bolt ran 10.03 seconds at his final career race in Jamaica on June 10, his slowest-ever 100m this late in a season. He called that effort “horrifying.”

It’s not much of a worry, given Bolt’s history of easing into the summer. And that no other sprinter is unbeaten this season.

Bolt said he was “shocked” that his main rival the last few years, Justin Gatlin, came back to win the U.S. 100m title on Friday night.

Gatlin, who had not run a sub-10 wind-legal 100m in 2017 going into that final, overcame NCAA champion Christian Coleman in 9.95 seconds. Coleman, who made the U.S. team in the 100m and 200m, still owns the fastest time in the world this year of 9.82 seconds.

“I was actually shocked that [Gatlin] actually won the trials because of just how quick the young kids were running,” said Bolt, who won his third Olympic title in Rio in 9.81 seconds, his slowest winning time at an Olympics or worlds. “That just shows that Justin Gatlin’s a competitor, you know what I mean? He shows, year after year, that he’s not be taken lightly.”

It sets up another potential Bolt-Gatlin showdown in the world championships 100m final on Aug. 5. Bolt relegated Gatlin to silver at the 2013 and 2015 Worlds and in Rio.

Bolt’s coach for all of those Olympic titles, Glen Mills, has been pushing the sprinter hard to get into coaching.

“Maybe next season, I’ll be at the track a lot, but I won’t be a coach [yet],” Bolt said. “I just want do what I have to and retire, take a vacation. Just relax. I let my team worry about what direction I should go after I retire.”

Bolt has repeated that he will miss two facets of being a professional athlete — the fans and the competition.

“Especially if I see like a youngster steps up and starts running some fast times, I’ll definitely think I’ll miss the fact that I could have gotten the chance to compete against this person,” he said.

Those youngsters may already be emerging.

Wayde van Niekerk, the 24-year-old South African who broke Michael Johnson‘s 400m world record in Rio, is set to challenge Johnson’s 300m world record in Ostrava on Wednesday.

Van Niekerk is also expected to race the 200m at worlds, but Bolt is skipping that race for the first time in his career.

Then there’s 22-year-old Canadian Andre De Grasse, who ran 9.69 seconds on June 18, albeit with a massive 4.8 meters/second tailwind, making it ineligible for ranking purposes.

Can Bolt keep up with that?

“Well, I am the fastest man in the world,” he said. “So, yeah, I will say yes to that.”

MORE: Gatlin gets one more shot at Bolt after surprise U.S. 100m title

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Noah Lyles raises black-gloved fist, wins 200m in Monaco

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Noah Lyles said he had plans going forward to make statements, beyond his rapid sprint times. He did that in Monaco on Friday.

Lyles raised a black, fingerless-gloved right fist before getting into the blocks to win a 200m in his first international race of the season, conjuring memories of the famous 1968 Olympic podium gesture.

He clocked 19.76 seconds, leading a one-two with younger brother Josephus. Full results are here.

“As athletes it’s hard to show that you love your country and also say that change is needed,” was posted on Lyles’ Instagram, along with hashtags including #blacklivesmatter. “This is my way of saying this country is great but it can be better.”

Lyles, the world 200m champion, also paid respect to 1968 Olympic 200m gold and bronze medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos three hours before the race.

He tweeted an iconic image of Smith and Carlos raising their single black-gloved fists on the medal stand at the Mexico City Games. Thirteen minutes earlier, Lyles posted an Instagram Story image of his socks for the meet — plain, dark colored.

Smith and Carlos wore black socks without shoes on the podium to signify endemic poverty back in the U.S. at the time.

Lyles is known for his socks, often posting images of colorful pairs he wears before races, themes including Speed Racer, R2-D2 and Sonic the Hedgehog.

“We are at the point where you can’t do nothing anymore,” Lyles said Wednesday. “There aren’t any rules set out. You’re kind of just pushing the boundary as far as you can go. Some people have said, even if there were rules, they’re willing to go farther than that.”

MORE: Noah, Josephus Lyles take 4-year journey to Monaco

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Joshua Cheptegei breaks 5000m world record in Monaco

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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei broke a 16-year-old world record in the 5000m by nearly two seconds, clocking 12:35.36 in Monaco on Friday.

Cheptegei, the 2019 World 10,000m champion who reportedly needed 80 hours to travel from Uganda for the Diamond League meet, took 1.99 seconds off Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele‘s world record from 2004. Bekele is also the 10,000m world-record holder and the second-fastest marathoner in history.

“It took a lot of mind setting to keep being motivated this year because so many people are staying at home, but you have to stay motivated,” Cheptegei said, according to organizers. “I pushed myself, I had the right staff with me, the right coach.”

Cheptegei, 23, came into Monaco as the 73rd-fastest man in history with a personal best of 12:57.41. But he declared before the meet that the world record was his goal, given he had no Olympics or world championships to peak for this year.

“It is very difficult to run any world record,” was posted on the Instagram of Bekele, who is part of the NN Running Team with Cheptegei. “Congratulations to my teammate [Cheptegei].”

Full Monaco results are here. The Diamond League next moves to Stockholm on Aug. 23.

In other events Friday, Noah Lyles easily won a 200m after raising a black-gloved first before the start. More on Lyles’ gesture and victory here.

Donavan Brazier extended a year-plus 800m win streak, clocking 1:43.15 and holding off countryman Bryce Hoppel by .08. Brazier won his last seven meets, including national, world and Diamond League titles in 2019, when he broke a 34-year-old American record.

Olympic silver medalist Orlando Ortega of Spain won the 110m hurdles in 13.11 seconds, overtaking world champion Grant Holloway. Holloway, who won worlds in 13.10 last autumn, finished fourth in 13.19.

Timothy Cheruiyot followed his 2019 World title by clocking his second-fastest 1500m ever. The Kenyan recorded 3:28.45, holding off Norwegian 19-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who set a European record of 3:28.68.

Sifan Hassan, the world’s top female distance runner, dropped out of the 5000m with two and a half laps left while in the lead pack. Two-time world champion Hellen Obiri won in 14:22.12, surging past Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey on the final lap.

Karsten Warholm ran the joint eighth-fastest 400m hurdles in history, a 47.10 against a field that lacked rivals Rai Benjamin and Abderrahman Samba. Warholm, the two-time world champion, ranks second in history with a personal best of 46.92, trailing only American Kevin Young‘s 46.78 from the 1992 Olympics.

American Lynna Irby won her Diamond League debut with a 50.50 in the 400m. Irby, the second-fastest American in 2018, failed to make the 2019 World team. On Friday, she beat Wadeline Jonathas, the top American in 2019.

Pole vault world-record holder Mondo Duplantis needed three tries to clear 5.70 meters, then won with a 5.80-meter clearance (and then cleared six meters). Duplantis, whose mom drove his poles 25 hours from Sweden to Monaco, brought the world record to 6.18 meters in February.

American Sam Kendricks, two-time reigning world pole vault champion, did not compete because his poles did not arrive.

MORE: Noah, Josephus Lyles take 4-year journey to Monaco

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