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Page last updated at 18:18 GMT, Saturday, 7 March 2009

US want Jamaica sprint showdown

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt
Jamaican Sprint champion Usain Bolt eclipsed the US competition in Beijing

The United States Track and Field team has proposed a series of sprint team meetings with Jamaica to determine which country has the best athletes.

Jamaica, led by triple gold medallist Usain Bolt, dominated the sprints at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

USATF chief executive Doug Logan said: "It would be a thrilling addition to the schedule, not just for our athletes and fans, but for global athletics."

Two competitions, one in each country, have been proposed for May and June.

In Beijing, defending 200m champion Shawn Crawford could only take silver in the wake of Bolt's victory, with team-mate Walter Dix getting the bronze.

Dix also trailed into third-place in the 100m, which had been a surprise as the US had emerged with the top sprinters at the 2007 World Championships.

And Logan, in a letter sent to International Association of Atheltics Federations Council member and area representative Neville McCook of Jamaica, feels that the US are ready for the task.

"Our sprinters are not ready to concede Jamaican dominance," he added.

606: DEBATE

"It was obvious to everyone (in Beijing) that with the rise of your country's great sprinters and hurdlers, a compelling rivalry between Jamaica and the United States had developed.

"Let us not forget that less than two years ago, it was the United States on top of three of the four short sprints and both sprint relays at the 2007 World Championships."

The plan would consist of three or four competitors from each country participating.

They would be the 100, 200 and 400 metres, the 4x100 and 4x400 sprint relays, plus the long jump and hurdles races (the 100m hurdles for women, the 110m hurdles for men and the 400m hurdles for both).

Jamaica underlined their quality in Beijing by winning six of those events - the men's 100, 200, 4 x 100 relay and women's 100, 200, 400 hurdles.

The US, meanwhile, won five events - the men's 400m and 400m hurdles, 4x400 relay and women's 100 hurdles plus the 4 x 400 relay.

"This seems to be a very interesting proposal, but until this is properly vetted by the executives of the association, I wouldn't be so inclined to speak further on the matter," said Garth Gayle, general secretary of the Jamaican Amateur Athletic Association.

see also
Which athletes will star in 2009?
20 Feb 09 |  Athletics
Bolt wins season opener in style
15 Feb 09 |  Athletics
Bolt 'just beginning' warns coach
05 Jan 09 |  Athletics
US sprint failures prompt review
22 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Campbell-Brown takes 200m gold
21 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Michael Johnson on Usain Bolt
20 Aug 08 |  Athletics


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