17 April, 2015

Fallout from the Gatlin article

While researching for the latest Gatlin article I fell upon two most interesting blogs and I thought I could share them with you. The first is the swiftgirl blog (by Louise Caraher) 

She is the one who wrote the limerick on Gatlin. On her twitter page there are more of those (of better taste than the “javelin” one) along with plenty of photos of Louise. They are worth a visit there. (Don’t ask what the “they” refers to). 

On a more serious tone we have the article by Chris Lambert “Why I despise Justin Gatlin”. You can read the full text in his blog, Lamb's English.

Chris lambert was, at the beginning of the ‘oughts one of the most promising young sprinters. He did participate at the Athens, 2004, Olympics. Unfortunately he never managed to attain the level to which he was promised due to recurring injuries. His article on Gatlin is worth reading. He explains why he moved from sheer admiration of Gatlin to plain loathing. 

In Lambert’s words (with a minimal editing):

“When Gatlin beat Asafa Powell in the 100m final in Athens, he had expected that he would become the top dog. He felt it was his right, that he was owed it. He was unapologetic in his drug abuse, self-righteous, because he refused to believe that anyone should be running faster than him. Gatlin felt that he deserved to be the best. He felt that it was his rightful place.

What’s even worse about Gatlin is that he’s still at it and still self-righteously so. The whole time he has maintained the belief that he is owed something by the sport; that he has the right to be at the head of the top table. For this belief, he sold out a talent that most athletes can only dream of having.”

But the part of his article I enjoyed most was the one on Dwain Chambers. Again in Lambert’s words:

“Chambers cheated, not to go from 10.2 to 9.9, not even to go from 9.9 to 9.8, but to go from 9.9 to 9.8 now, because someone else was doing it now. He wanted what they had and he wanted it now. For Chambers that person was embodied by Maurice Greene, a man with unfailing consistency at the top level. I never really believed in Greene as a clean athlete, but that’s beside the by. I remember watching Chambers beat him to win the Crystal Palace GP around the time he was busted for injecting himself with stuff he didn’t even understand. The clock broke and displayed 9.5, but instead of knowing the clock had obviously broken, he stormed off on a rampage, celebrating wildly. He believed it was possible that he’d gone from 9.9 to 9.5 basically overnight. That is what he had wanted. At that moment I knew he was a cheat.”

I appreciated greatly Lambert’s thoughtful articles and I am sure I will come back to them for inspiration for a post I am itching to write for quite some time now.

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