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Speed vs Endurance: Usain Bolt up for Farah’s race challenge

Bolt says he will consider running for charity against distance champion over 600m.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: July 30, 2013 1:06 am

Usain Bolt has a new challenger,and maybe even a new distance to think about.

The biggest star in track is being sought out by Mo Farah for a charity race somewhere between Bolt’s sprint specialty and Farah’s distance domain.

“It’d be great to be able to do a distance where people vote in what distance will be suitable,and then get a judge and then come in the middle with that distance and train for it,” said Farah,a British runner who won the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at last year’s London’s Olympics. “Bolt,are you up for that? Come on,you got to do it.”

Bolt has little left to prove on the track. The Jamaican won the 100 and 200 in world record time at the 2008 Beijing Games,and then became the first man to defend those titles at last year’s Olympics. He also helped Jamaica win the 4×100 relays at both.

On Friday in London,Bolt won the 100 meters at the Anniversary Games,a Diamond League meet that took place in the Olympic Stadium to mark one year since the start of the 2012 Olympics. Farah won the 3,000 on Saturday.

Despite the differences in distances,Bolt seems to be considering Farah’s challenge. “That sounds fun. It’s going to be hard,but for me it’s charity,so it’s just all about fun and enjoyment,” Bolt said. “For me,I’m up for anything if it’s possible.”

The hard part would be deciding what distance to race.

Bolt may be the best sprinter of all time,and has often been rumored to be adding the 400 to his repertoire. Farah,however,is a distance specialist who is talking more and more about moving in the other direction and adding the marathon to his running regime.

So even one of the middle distances,like the 1,500 meters,would be hard to see coming. “Way too far,” Bolt said. “Six-hundred for sure I can try because I’ve done 600 in training.”

Farah,the Somalia-born 30-year-old who grew up in London,has lightning pace over the final stretch and has recently experimented with shorter distances,setting a European 1500m record of 3:28.81 this summer.

Farah laid down the challenge to the Jamaican sprinter after running a personal best of 7 minutes 36.85 seconds in the 3000 metres at the London Anniversary Games at the weekend.

One intriguing aspect of the race would be how the taller,more powerful Bolt would cope with the early stages of the longer distance and if he would have the acceleration to match Farah’s finish after running 500 metres.

Two running stars meeting at a made-up distance is not new. Nearly a year after the 1996 Olympics,200-400 gold medalist Michael Johnson and 100 champion Donovan Bailey met in a much-hyped 150-meter race in Toronto.

About halfway through,Johnson pulled up with a muscle injury in his left thigh,leaving Bailey to win $1 million.

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