Usain Bolt beating Justin Gatlin is not going to save athletics says Michael Johnson


The head and back remained as still and straight as the Statue of Liberty herself. The body was lean and every movement was a clear picture of meticulous attention. We were visiting Michael Johnson's home state of Texas 20 years on from that night in Atlanta, Georgia, when his short stride pitter-pattered itself to the never-before, never-again double of 200 and 400 metres gold. 'This man,' declaimed David Coleman, 'surely is not human. Those Games had been tarnished by commercialism, inefficiency and jingoism, and even pipe bombings, by the time, on the 14th day, Johnson took his second title in 19.32sec, smashing his own 200m world record to smithereens. He was 28 and the saving face of those cursed Olympics. Now he is 48, still only an indiscernible five pounds heavier than in the prime of his career, and joining in with a basketball session as part of his 'Michael Johnson Young Leaders' initiative to support sportsmen and women from around the world helping their communities.