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Gatlin's agent unhappy with world record timing error

Written by: Staff

RALEIGH, North Carolina, May 17 (Reuters) - Justin Gatlin's agent questioned the delay in correcting the U.S. sprinter's 100 metres world record and said it would motivate him to run faster.

Gatlin was given a time of 9.76 seconds at a meeting in Doha last week.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced today the time should have been rounded up to 9.77, equalling Jamaican Asafa Powell's world record.

''I am a bit surprised,'' former hurdles great Renaldo Nehemiah told Reuters via telephone.

''It has been almost five days since he ran. I did not think it would take them that long to realise the possibility of a mistake.'' Nehemiah said he had been woken up at 5.15am Eastern Time 1445 hrs ist by a phone call from the IAAF to tell him of the change.

World and Olympic champion Gatlin was still asleep and was not aware he had lost sole possession of the record.

A review of the Doha race by Tissot Timing indicated Gatlin had run 9.766 seconds, which according the IAAF's rules should have been rounded up to 9.77.

The IAAF said the error had been spotted relatively early in the record ratification process which gives member federations one month to submit a form.

''This is just an incentive for Justin to go out and break the world record again officially,'' said Nehemiah, a former 110 metres world record holder.

''He is in excellent shape for this time of the year. That bodes well for him.'' A meeting with Powell in Gateshead, England on June 11 was still on, Nehemiah added.

It will be the first time the two have clashed on the track since last July in London when Powell pulled up with a groin problem that ended his season.

Gatlin will next run a 100 metres at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, on May 28.

''I think he will be motivated to run fast again,'' Nehemiah said. ''How fast I don't know. It all depends how he recovers from the 9.77 and the 9.85 (he ran in the preliminary race at Doha).'' Gatlin is also scheduled to run in New York on June 3.

''I know he wants to do something special at Pre and New York, meaning he wants to run as fast and as low as he can,'' Nehemiah said.


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