Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Olympics [Print without images]

Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Does Spearmon have chance versus Bolt?

By Jim Caple


LONDON -- Wallace Spearmon is confident he can beat Usain Bolt in a race. Of course, he is talking about an auto race.

"We both have the same car, a Nissan GTR," Spearmon said after Tuesday's 200-meter heats. "I kind of told Bolt about it and he went out and bought one and now he has a sponsorship deal with them. Lord knows what will happen to his car after a while, but my car is faster right now."

Will Spearmon get a Nissan sponsorship deal, too? "I highly doubt it," he said. "Unless I win a gold ... and break some records."

Or beat Bolt. The odds are against Spearmon, but the American sprinter said he likes his chances out of the car and on the track. "I just feel good. I feel confident. ... It should be interesting."

Spearmon, and everyone else, will need more than confidence to beat Bolt, the world-record holder in the event. Two days after winning the 100, Bolt won his 200 heat easily, posting the fastest time of the day (20.39) despite the fact that he essentially jogged the last 50 to 75 meters, occasionally looking left and right to see if anyone was near him. Naturally, no one was.

"It was an easy run," Bolt said. "I'm enjoying it. It's my favorite event. ... It was just about qualifying and not getting injured. It's a fast track. I'm looking forward to it. It should be a good race."

U.S. sprinter Maurice Mitchell, who won his heat in 20.54, said he is looking forward to running against Bolt for the first time. Mitchell, 22, said he watched Bolt win the 100 and 200 on TV when he was in high school.

"I told myself I wanted to be there," he said. "He brings a style to the sport. He helps guys like me who want to live out our dreams. I'm glad we have guys like him to make us young guys get there."

The 200 semifinals are Wednesday night; the finals are Thursday.