'Big possum'- Justin Gatlin reacts to Elaine Thompson-Herah's faulty start to the season

'Big possum'- Justin Gatlin reacts to Elaine Thompson-Herah's faulty start to the season

Abigael Wafula 21:17 - 31.05.2024

American sprint legend Justin Gatlin has weighed in on Elaine Thompson-Herah's poor start to the season at the Prefontaine Classic.

Four-time world champion Justin Gatlin has weighed in on Elaine Thompson-Herah’s performance at the Prefontaine Classic, the Diamond League Meeting in Eugene, USA.

The Jamaican sprint queen was opening her season at the event, where she faded to a ninth-place finish, crossing the line in 11.30.

Speaking on his Ready Set Go podcast, Gatlin and his co host Rodney Green evaluated the multiple Olympic champion’s performance and concluded that she seemed to be playing with the minds of her competitors at the event.

“But what is she playing possum for her competitors? And then she drops a dime on them,” Gatlin’s co-host Green said during their show.

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“That’s big possum…to go out there and close the gate and to run 11.30, that’s a big possum,” the American legend added.

His co-host then added that her coach, Reynaldo Walcott might have advised her to just go into the race and work on her starts only and form with that.

From the race, Thompson-Herah was looking very formidable from the start of the blocks but faded to a ninth-place finish in the hotly- contested race won by American rival Sha’Carri Richardson. Julien Alfred and Dina Asher-Smith finished second and third respectively.

“She was with the field for like 20-25m and then it looked like she ran basically a tech 100m after that. Technique for her, because you know her caliber, I see it and it’s so high,” he added.

Gatlin continued, noting that it takes a lot of courage to execute such a race with his co-host insisting that she has nothing to lose since she has already gained the exposure and the money.

He explained that the only thing that might be affecting the athlete would be her Jamaican fans coming at her for her poor season opener.