Allyson Felix believes American team-mate Justin Gatlin, who has twice been banned for doping, shouldn’t have been singled out for jeers by London crowds at last summer’s World Championships.
The 35-year-old famously won gold in the 100m final, stealing the limelight from Usain Bolt, who came home in third, in his last-ever individual race.
After victory back in August, Gatlin beared the brunt of boos from spectators and received plenty of critics on social media – this, coming seven years after his second ban from the sport.
He also endured a frosty reception when being awarded his medals, having also took home silver in the 4x100m relay.
Speaking to Sport360° in Abu Dhabi, London 2012 Olympic 200m champion Felix, who is a participant in the US Anti-Doping Agency’s “Project Believe” program, said: “I do think it’s difficult, I think it’s unfair because there’s a lot of people who participated in those Games who had sanctions and weren’t booed.”
The 31-year-old Los Angeles star spoke to Sport360°’s Denzil Pinto at a TrainYas event at Yas Marina Circuit in the UAE capital, helping to build awareness around the Special Olympics World Games, Abu Dhabi 2019 and volunteer recruitment.
Look out for the full interview with the sprinter next week.
Runners of all ages, abilities and nationalities are already signing up for the 2018 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon – the Middle East’s biggest mass participation sporting event – as they prepare for a place on the start line of the Marathon, the 10km and the 4km Fun Run on Friday, January 26.
Registration for the event is done through the event’s website – www.dubaimarathon.org – and the three runs are already filling up with competitors from home and abroad.
Among the more than 30,000 runners that will line up across the three events will be groups of runners representing many companies and government bodies. It’s a category actively encouraged by the event organisers.
Since the Dubai Marathon launched group entries, the biggest participant in terms of runner numbers has been Dubai Holding, which has again thrown its support behind the event.
As well as tens of thousands of everyday runners and part-time athletes who make up the majority of the fields, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will again feature the elite athletes whose very presence and world-class finishing times have helped establish the race as one of the best in athletics.
Following Tamirat Tola’s new course record win in January this year, the average of the top ten times in the history of the Dubai Marathon is 2h:04m:36s making it the third-fastest in Marathon history behind only Berlin and London, while it is the second fastest Marathon in the world based on the average of the top ten results since 2010.
In the women’s race, the Dubai Marathon is the only Marathon in history to have three runners break a time of 2h:20m in the same race (2012).
In addition to Standard Chartered as title sponsor, the Dubai Marathon is supported by the Dubai Sports Council, adidas, Dubai Eye 103.8FM, Sport 360, Masafi Natural Water, Dubai Holding, Dubai Police and the RTA.
Running a full marathon under three hours is some feat but all the more impressive when it’s your first at the age of 39.
It wasn’t easy for Dubai-based Xavier Nunes though. The Portuguese had to go through intensive training over an 18-month period to prepare himself.
“From 36 to 40kms, it was really, really tough,” says Nunes as he recalls his 42km run in Berlin.
“They call it the wall after kilometer 35, you pull the energy you don’t know from where, just to finish the race.”
Nunes has lived in Dubai for eight and a half years and while he was involved in sports as a child, he only decided to venture into marathon running last year.
It required a major lifestyle change though and Nunes quit his job working in consumer goods and moved into freelance sports marketing instead.
He signed up at Bespoke Ride and was trained by Joao Marcelo Arteche who regularly works with several athletes preparing for a variety of events.
After initially targeting 3:10, Nunes was able to dig deep and clock 2:59 instead.
In the above video, he tells us all about his experience.