RALEIGH, NC—American sprinter Justin Gatlin recently announced that he can easily surpass his own world record in the 100 meters (9.77 seconds) by nearly 6.5 seconds if the conditions are just right. "If the winds behind me are similar to that of a Category 4 hurricane without the rain and hail; the course we are running on is a steep, flat drop from the apex of a tall mountain; my shoes are three ounces lighter than usual and sport aerodynamic jet propellers; my mother is in the stands cheering, but not loud enough to the point where it is distracting; the other participants in the race are chasing me with weapons; and I neglect to wear my lucky but weighty gold chain, there is no question that I can run it in 3.2 seconds," Gatlin said. "My coach and I have simulated these conditions in practice, and I ran it in 3.7 seconds. With the added adrenaline of a real race, who knows how low I can go." U.S. racing officials have said that, though they wouldn't mind watching this race, any record-breaking time recorded under these conditions would lack legitimacy.
We may earn a commission from links on this page.