London, July 23 (IANS) Six-time Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt has accused rival Justin Gatlin of “disrespect” after the Jamaican won the 200 metres at the Anniversary Games here.
Bolt, 29, on Friday clocked 19.89 seconds in his first appearance since pulling out of the Jamaican trials.
He was picked for the Olympics after getting a medical exemption, leading to comments from Gatlin and others.
“For me I felt it was a joke, I felt it was a disrespect they think I’d back out of a trial,” Bolt was quoted as saying by BBC on Saturday.
“I’ve proven myself year on year that I’m the greatest. I laughed when I heard it, I was disappointed, especially in Justin Gatlin.”
Bolt won gold in both the 100m and 200m at the London and Beijing Olympics, and will defend both titles in Rio Olympics next month.
Gatlin, considered his main 100m rival, was among those who claimed the Jamaican – who has struggled with a hamstring injury – got preferential treatment he would not receive were he American.
“He’s injured, gets a medical pass, that’s what his country does. Our country doesn’t do that,” Gatlin, who has twice served doping bans said earlier.
At the Olympic Stadium on Friday night, Bolt finished 0.15 seconds ahead of Panama’s Alonso Edward in second, with Britain’s Commonwealth silver medallist Adam Gemili third.
The fastest 200m time of the year is 19.74 by United States sprinter LaShawn Merritt, while Bolt’s world record — set in 2009 — is 19.19.