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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bailey Says No to Fastest Man Race

NEW YORK -- A proposed October match race between Michael Johnson and Donavan Bailey to determine the world's fastest man apparently fell apart when the Canadian 100-meter world record holder shot down the idea.


A California-based promoter was set to stage a 150-meter showdown Oct. 6 at Toronto's SkyDome that would have paid the winner $1 million and the loser $250,000.


Johnson, America's Olympic hero who obliterated the 200-meter record in Atlanta in a stunning 19.32 seconds, was apparently set to go.


Bailey, who lowered the 100-meter world record to 9.84 seconds in winning at the Olympics, declined the invitation.


"I think some time we'll race ... but it won't happen in 1996," Bailey told CTV, a Canadian television network.


But the Canadian sprinter angered the Johnson camp by saying he would "easily win" a race against the American, who made history by becoming the first man to win the 200- and 400-meter gold medals at the same Olympics.


"I don't think Donovan's legs are as fast as his mouth," Brad Hunt, Johnson's business manager, said in a telephone interview from his Boulder, Colorado, office.


"He said he was too tired to run this year, but his mouth is not too tired," Hunt said. "It's time to separate the doers from the talkers.


Hunt said Bailey was dodging Johnson. "Michael has signed a letter of intent, but the conditions Donovan placed on the race were unbelievable. He didn't even want to call it a race to determine the world's fastest man."


After his amazing 200-meter performance at the Olympics, Johnson had been called the world's fastest man by many.


That upset Canadians since the mythical honor traditionally has gone to the Olympic 100-meter winner, prompting the idea for a match race between the speedsters.