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Fredericks Recalls Memories of Atlanta ’96 Olympics

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frankie fredericksNINETEEN years after, IAAF Ambassador, , has revealed why he lost the 200m gold to American star, Michael Johnson, at Atlanta ’96 Olympics Games.

The trio of Fredericks, Johnson and Ato Boldon spoke before the commencement of the 2015 IAAF/BTC World Relays, which began yesterday in the Caribbean Island, Bahamas.

Speaking on his memories of Atlanta ‘96 Olympic Games 200m final, Fredericks said: “I think Michael brought the best out of me. I’m from a small country (Namibia), where not many people know where it is, and to become one of the fastest men in the world is quite an achievement.

“Michael was a 400m specialist, I was a 100m man, so I had to find out what he was doing and that’s why I started longer runs. I could have been content to just have been the African record holder and not work as hard so that’s why these two (Johnson and Boldon) brought out the best in me.

The other thing about Atlanta I remember is that they made us walk to whole 200m, I don’t know why; and everybody was chanting “Michael”! They were killing us mentally.

I was ready that day, but that’s when I realised it’s always good to run in front of a home crowd. When I came off the bend, Michael found another gear.

I don’t know where he found that gear and I think it was probably those 80,000 people that pushed him. At that point, I knew the race was finished and just worried that Ato was going to come past me,” Fredericks said.

Meanwhile, Johnson has cautioned Jamaica’s speed star, Usain Bolt, ahead Beijing 2015 IAAF World Championships scheduled for Beijing, China.

Speaking on Bolt’s chances of defending all his three titles in Beijing, Johnson said: “For Usain, health is going to be his biggest issue going forward.

As you get older, it’s much more difficult to remain healthy. I think he’s done a good job of managing the number of races he runs. I’ve said this before that no one can beat Usain when he’s at his best, but he has to be at his best.

I marvel at his ability to remain motivated given that he is world champion, Olympic champion and world record holder in all of his events. It took me 11 years to do that but Usain did it a lot quicker,” he said


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