Bailey says injury no cause for concern
In Donovan Bailey's world, another physical ailment is simply so much added motivation.
After injuring his left hamstring three days ago during a race in Stockholm, the Oakville sprinter vowed yesterday he would be ready to defend his Olympic 100- metre gold medal in Sydney next month.
"I've had a lot of obstacles in my career," Bailey said at a news conference yesterday. "This is just really a bump. I have total confidence everything will be fine."
Bailey has made remarkable comebacks something of a trademark. He suffered a torn Achilles tendon in September 1998, but has posted the second-fastest time in the 100 metres this season, 9.98 seconds last month in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Ten days before competing at the 1996 Atlanta Games, where he won gold in the 100 and the 4x100 relay, Bailey hurt an adductor muscle.
"We have lots of time," Bailey said, flashing his trademark smile. "I'm not really worried."
Bailey, who resumed training yesterday, will be forced to miss the Canadian Olympic trials in Victoria, which start next Thursday. However, his doctors predict he will be competing again by the end of the month. Because of his sub-10-second time last month, Bailey will get a medical exemption from the nationals which will allow him to race for Canada in Sydney.
"Our objective, obviously, will be to get Donovan Bailey on the starting line in Sydney," Athletics Canada president John Thresher said.
"With clear medical evidence it would look to be a clear case."
HAZARDS OF SPRINTING
Bailey's injury is similar to the one suffered recently by one of Bailey's key rivals, U.S. sprinter Maurice Greene, the world champion, the world record-holder (9.79 seconds) and the man who has run the fastest time this season, a 9.91.
Bailey said he got off to a good start at Stockholm, but at about 50 metres he felt cramping in his hamstring.
"I thought it was just because I might have been a little dehydrated, so I just kept accelerating and at about 75 metres it just kind of pulled."
Bailey's doctors said the injury resulted from overstriding.
"I can't go and do a full workout right now, but training with pain is something I've done my whole career," Bailey said. "That's just part of sprinting."