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PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Olympic and world champion Jeremy Wariner believes he is in good enough shape to break Michael Johnson's nine-year-old 400 meters record of 43.18 seconds.
"I want to break this record and be the first one to 42 seconds," Wariner told reporters at the annual Penn Relays on Saturday. "It could happen at any time in the season."
Wariner, whose personal best is 43.45 seconds in 2007, said he would be running 400 meters races in the U.S., Berlin and Oslo leading up to June's American Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.
He ran the fastest leg (44.0 seconds) for the victorious U.S. men's "blue" squad which clocked two minutes, 59.71 seconds in the 4x400 meters relay on Saturday.
Meanwhile, double world sprint champion Tyson Gay said he would like to compete for four gold medals at August's Beijing Games but only expects to have a realistic opportunity of running in three events.
Gold medal winner at 100 and 200 meters and 4x100 meters relay at last year's Osaka world championships, Gay said he would also like to run the longer relay in Beijing but does not expect to qualify because of America's strength in the discipline.
"Everyone knows the U.S. has a solid four-by-four team so it would be a wild shot if I was going to be on that team," Gay said. "If they do want me to run, I would."
His relay squad, also consisting of Leroy Dixon, Wallace Spearmon, Doc Patton, finished a surprising fourth in the 4x100 after leadoff runner Dixon was struck in the eye by a Canadian runner during the first handover.
The event was won by the Jamaican team of Marvin Anderson, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter and Dwight Thomas in 39.04 seconds. World 100 meters record holder Asafa Powell sat out the meeting with a pulled muscle.
Women's world 200 meters champion Allyson Felix ran on winning U.S. squads for both the short and longer events.
Afterwards, she said she planned to run the 100 and 200 meters at the U.S. Olympic trials and would also like to compete in both relays in Beijing.
"If everything went perfect, that would be what I would like to do," said Felix, who won gold in the 200 and both relays at Osaka last year.
(Editing by Gene Cherry and John O'Brien)
"Countdown to Beijing Olympics" blog at blogs.reuters.com/china