November 21, 2009 / 11:10 PM / in 9 years

Rivals Bolt and Gay excited about Diamond League

MONTE CARLO (Reuters) - Jamaican triple Olympic and world champion Usain Bolt and main sprint rival Tyson Gay have praised the new Diamond League series while declining to say where they would clash in 2010 on the 14-meeting series.

Tyson Gay of the U.S (L) lokks towards Usain Bolt of Jamaica during the awards ceremony for the men's 100 metres at the world athletics championships at the Olympic stadium in Berlin August 17, 2009. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

“It’s going to be awesome, so people look out for it,” Bolt told a dinner meeting on Saturday to launch the series, which promises more head-to-head competition.

“It’s going to be good for the fans,” United States 100 meters record holder Gay told Reuters. “There’s not going to be ducking (out of meeting your top rivals).

Both sprinters plus Jamaica’s former 100 meters world record holder Asafa Powell and six other top athletes have already committed to seven meetings in the series, which has competitions in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. More are expected to join those athletes.

“The concept is good for more showdowns,” Bolt told reporters. “So I am really looking forward for it. It is good for the sport and it is going to be good for us to keep competing against each other.”

Either Bolt, Gay or Powell will be in each of the 14 meetings. Many will have two of them and a select few all three.

But Bolt was reluctant to say where.

“I will compete any time it is necessary but for me,” he said, adding it will be his agent and coach who will decide “what time I run and who I run against.”

Gay was more specific.

“I will be racing Bolt at least three times or more,” said the world’s second fastest man who recently had groin surgery.

“I’d like to run against him as many times as possible,” he added. “If he’s in my race it’s going to make it so exciting.”

Both sprinters are expected to run the 100 and 200 meters on the circuit. Like Bolt, Gay will most likely focus on the 100.

“I’m going to run some 200s but I’m going to concentrate on the 100,” he said. “That 100 meters diamond is what I want.”

Reporting by Gene Cherry; editing by Ken Ferris

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