Today’s athletes aren’t durable, says Linford Christie at Doha GOALS

November 5, 2014 11:29 am

Today’s athletes aren’t durable, says Linford Christie at Doha GOALS

Doha, Qatar, 05 November 2014: Olympic champion Linford Christie said that the new generation of athletes has different priorities that may limit their success in the sport in an interview at today’s Doha GOALS Forum.

In an on-stage conversation with fellow Olympic champions Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Jonathan Edwards, Christie addressed the fact that his national record for the 100m has remained unbroken for 21 years. “Young athletes are fast and strong enough but they aren’t really durable. They compete because they can make money from it – but I did it because I loved it. They want to live the life, but you can’t – if you want to be successful in athletics, it’s 24-7.”

Joyner-Kersee’s world record in the heptathlon has stood for 26 years, as well as the top six results of all time in the discipline. She said: “You have to believe in the impossible. They said no woman could win a marathon; no woman could break the 7,000 point barrier in my sport. But I’m sure that 7,000 points will be a consistent achievement by 2016.”

Christie also addressed the issue of his failed drug test and subsequent ban, which was incurred in 1999, as he was on the verge of retiring. Christie was cleared by UK Athletics.

He said: “It was one of those things. You have to live your life – when you’re innocent and know you haven’t done it, you have to move on. It is my honest belief that one day, the truth will come out.

“To be prevented from being a part of the Olympics – including London 2012 – had a profound effect on my life. But people know what kind of person I am. I’m here, alive, and I will always move forward.”

Joyner-Kersee addressed the effect that a high-profile drug ban has on the sport, particularly Ben Johnson’s disqualification from the 1988 100 metres after winning the race. Joyner-Kersee won gold in the heptathlon and long jump in the same championships.

She said: “That really put a dampener on my whole Olympic spirit – it was our moment. From that day on, people were whispering and it wasn’t fair – it took hard work for the rest of us to achieve that.”

About the Author

Muhammad Tahim is the Sports Editor for Qatar Chronicle. A die-hard football fan and amateur tennis player, he roots for Manchester United, Barcelona, Paris St. Germain and Novak Djokovic.

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