Justin Gatlin is convinced sprint rival Usain Bolt will compete at the Rio Olympics despite sustaining a hamstring injury that has left his participation in doubt.
Jamaican sensation Bolt withdrew from team trials on Friday after suffering a grade-one hamstring tear, having earlier run a time of 10.04 seconds in the semi-finals.
However, American Gatlin, who finished runner-up to Bolt in the 100 and 200 metres at last year’s World Championship, expects to see Bolt at the start line in Brazil.
“I got a text [about Bolt’s injury]. I thought ‘is it April Fools?’ Let me check the calendar,” Gatlin told reporters at the US Olympic trials in Eugene.
“But crazy things happen in Olympic years, so we’ll see what happens.
“I think it’s just the mystery in the air of the Olympics. It’s full of dreams and sometimes dreams don’t come true. But come on, man – he’s Usain.
“We’re going to see his face in Rio, one way or another.”
Bolt, a six-time Olympic gold medallist, has requested a medical exemption from the Jamaican Athletics Administrative Association in order to compete at the Games, which the 29-year-old has previously stated will be his last.
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