Gatlin says he _ not Bolt _ is the man to beat now

ROME (AP) — With the world leading times in both the 100 and 200 meters this season, Justin Gatlin says he — not Usain Bolt — is the man to beat right now.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s Golden Gala meet, Gatlin says “having two world leads does put me in position to say entering a race, ‘OK, I’m the man to go out there and go against.'”

Gatlin beat Bolt at the Stadio Olimpico two years ago, although the Jamaican is not entered this year.

Gatlin clocked 9.74 seconds on May 15 in Doha, Qatar. Only four sprinters have ever run faster, including Bolt, who set the world record at 9.58 in 2009.

The American then won the 200 in 19.68 in Eugene, Oregon, last weekend, matching his personal best.