Michael Johnson explains what athletics needs to learn from horseracing

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Michael Johnson explains what athletics needs to learn from horseracing

Joel Omotto 09:07 - 06.05.2024

American sprint legend Michael Johnson has detailed some key aspects in horseracing that he feels need to be incorporated in athletics in build-up to major championships.

Former 400m world record holder Michael Johnson feels athletics needs to learn from horseracing when it comes to build-up to major events.

Johnson, who has been a critic of athletes’ form focusing on their times only, thinks a lot more needs to be told about the runners instead of just how fast they have run when analyzing their prospects before a championship.

The eight-time Olympic champion gave the example of the Kentucky Derby where the build up is more about the back stories of the horses in action and not their times and how fast they have run coming into the event, something he feels lacks in track and field.

“Watching the build-up to one of my favorite sporting events Kentucky Derby. Not a single mention of times or how fast the horses have run. Just 1) The stories of how they got here, and 2) their chances of winning or where they may place in the race. Track needs this,” Johnson posted on X.

The comment comes just days after the sprint legend hit out at those who disregard pro athletes whenever a new kid on the block emerges and posts a good time.

“A really good high school basketball player may be able to outplay an NBA player on a given day. Doesn’t mean he can outplay him throughout the NBA season. But in track if a high school kid runs a fast time once, we’re ready to put them on par with the pros,” Johnson shared early this week.

Johnson feels pro athletes are not getting the respect they deserve when their achievements are put against emerging runners who might have posted an impressive time due to a number of factors on the day.

A number of runners have been emerging over the years and they would be christened the next ‘Usain Bolt’ but it is safe to say Johnson is not a fan.

Christian Miller, the 17-year-old high school student recently clocked 9.93, the fastest time in the world this year, to win the 100m at the PURE Athletics Elite Invitational had many falling over themselves in his praise while comparing him to world champion Noah Lyles, whose best time of the year is 9.96 recorded at the USTAF Bermuda Grand Prix.

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