Asian Games 100 metres champion Femi Ogunode says he can outsprint Usain Bolt to gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro — even without the help of a coach.
The Nigerian-born runner took the gold medal for his adopted country Qatar with a continental record of 9.93 seconds at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
Ogunode, 23, clocked the joint fifth-fastest time in the world this year despite dispensing with his coach four months ago and opting not to replace him.
“I am fine without a coach, I know what to do,” said the confident sprinter, who returned from a lengthy doping ban at the start of this year.
“Without a coach I can discipline myself and train myself. I’ve been training alone. When I’m training myself I believe in myself so strongly and I improve so much,” he added.
Ogunode only returned to competitive action in January after a two-year suspension for testing positive for banned substance clenbuterol.
“For me everything was the same,” Ogunode said of his 24 months on the sidelines.
“I trained as normal and what I did today was not strange to me. I believed and trusted myself that I could do it.”
Ogunode told reporters he would now turn his attention to next year’s world championships and then to the Olympics in Brazil the following summer.
Asked if he could beat Jamaica’s Bolt — the world’s fastest man at 9.58sec — Ogunode replied: “I have confidence in myself that I can challenge anybody.”
“I see myself winning the gold medal in Rio.”
Ogunode finished well ahead at Incheon’s Main Stadium with China’s Su Bingtan taking second in 10.10.
Kei Takase of Japan crossed the line in third on 10.14 while his Chinese team-mate Zhang Peimeng timed 10.18 in fourth.