Surin says gold is possible
By STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun
SYDNEY -- On the hottest day so far at the Olympics, Bruny Surin was talking about cool runnings yesterday.
The Montreal sprinter, Canada's best hope to win a medal in the 100-metre final on Saturday, said these definitely would be his final Olympics -- his final Summer Olympics.
"Maybe I'll go for the bobsled, just to have fun (and) kill myself," Surin said with a laugh.
He did chuckle, but it turns out Surin is serious about competing for Canada in the four-man bobsled at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. The bobsled program has long recruited members of Canada's sprint team. Surin's teammate in the sprints, Ottawa's Glenroy Gilbert, was once a member of the national bobsled program and also has expressed a desire to return to the ice and snow.
Surin's immediate goals are more exact. The defending world championship silver medallist in the 100 plans to work his way through the heats and semis and qualify for the final. And after that ...
"If I have the race I want, and get to the final and don't feel any pain, a gold medal is possible," he said.
Surin, 32, hurt his hamstring at the Canadian championships last month in Victoria and hasn't competed since. His training also has been pushed back and the former world indoor 60-metre champion has been forced to do cardio work on a bike or in a pool.
"I just have to cross my fingers and not think about the pain," said Surin, who claims to be 95 per cent healthy.
It has been a strange year in world track. Not many runners have performed consistently, including Surin, whose best time is a mediocre 10.08 seconds in June, and teammate Donovan Bailey, who has one sub-10 mark.
Largely because of the cold and wet weather in Europe this season during the Golden League campaign, the sprint times haven't been dazzling, except for American star Maurice Greene.
The brash Yank has run 9.86 and is the odds-on favourite to win the gold. Last year at the worlds in Seville, Greene caught Surin with just a few metres to go to win the gold. Greene ran a sizzling 9.80 and holds the world record (9.79), but Surin said he learned a lot from the race and vows there will be fewer mistakes this time out.
Surin also held the lead for the first 50 metres or so in the 100 final at the 1992 Barcelona Games, before fading. Easily one of the top sprinters of the 1990s, Surin has never received a ton of publicity because he has yet to win a medal in the 100 at the Olympics. But the easy-going native of Haiti will not fall apart if he doesn't win.
"I want a gold medal, and if it happens, it happens. If not, life goes on," he said. "I was never obsessed with track and field. I love what I do, but track and field for me is not life or death, do or die."
Meanwhile, Canadian high jumper Mark Boswell said his sore ankle is almost 100 per cent. The Brampton athlete said it likely would take a jump of about 2.37 metres to win a medal in Sydney.