Johnson to up the ante on world's best - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Johnson to up the ante on world's best

By Adrian Warren 11/05/2003 07:46:19 PM Comments (0)

Patrick Johnson believes he now possesses the one thing every international sprinter craves - respect among the world's best.

Johnson arrived home on Sunday from a landmark week in Japan already looking to improve on his season-leading 9.93sec 100 metres time ahead of the world championships in Paris in August.

The 31-year-old Queenslander said he derived more satisfaction from pushing world record holder Tim Montgomery desperately close in Osaka on Saturday night than he did from his breakthrough sub-10sec run in a low-key race in Mito on Monday.

Just 100th of a second separated Montgomery and second-placed Johnson who led until the final few metres to clock 10.05 in the IAAF grand prix event.

"He (Montgomery) acknowledged I'm a competitor and knows that there's bigger things coming up and he respected me for pushing him that hard," said Johnson.

Johnson said he was looking forward to running against more of the top sprinters when he headed to Europe where he would have at least 10 more 100 and 200m races before the world championships.

And he saw plenty of room for improvement.

"That's going to be enjoyable because I will be in better shape by the time I get to Europe, so it will be a great challenge and I think the rest of the world and some of the guys know that I'm in shape, so it's not going to be a walk in the park," Johnson said.

Asked about becoming the only person to break 10sec this year, Johnson said: "It was nice, but I know everyone is going to come out and try to beat it, so I want to do one better and raise the benchmark a little bit higher.

"It's going to be harder, but I'd like to do it at the right time when all the best are in shape."

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