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September 11, 2000
Greene fears only himself
Maurice Greene said he feared only himself in his quest for the Olympic 100 metres gold medal.
"My biggest threat is myself, me messing up," the world's fastest man said as he arrived in Sydney on Monday.
The world champion and world record holder gave the U.S. track and field training camp in Brisbane a miss and flew to Australia from Japan after entering one last race in Yokohama on Saturday.
"I believe everything has been going according to plan and I'm just here to put on a great show," said the explosive 26-year-old, who has been in a class of his own for most of the season.
Greene suggested not only the title but also his own world record were within his reach when he ran the year's fastest 100 metres in his last major outing before the Games on September 1 in Berlin.
The way he ignored cool weather and a slight headwind to clock 9.86 seconds in the German capital suggested his record mark of 9.79 set last year in Athens would be under threat if conditions are right at Stadium Australia for the 100 metres final on September 23.
The double sprint world champion, whose coach John Smith has said has the potential to run 9.60, insisted a world record was not on his mind.
"It doesn't matter," he said. "I can run 10.40. If I get the gold medal, I'll be happy."
But he could only be dreaming of emulating Canada's Donovan Bailey, who won the Olympic crown in a world record 9.84 four years ago in Atlanta.
Greene watched that race from the stands with tears in his eyes. Then hampered by an injury, he had run poorly at the U.S. trials and missed the Olympic team.
This year's trials in Sacramento in July brought him more disappointment and a scare as he pulled up lame in the 200 metres, sustaining a hamstring injury.
But he soon recovered. Forced to concentrate on the shorter sprint, he underlined his supremacy, suffering only one setback since Sacramento when he finished third in a race last month in Gateshead, England.
Two of Greene's most dangerous rivals, fellow American Jon Drummond and Trinidad's Ato Boldon also arrived in Sydney on Monday. Both train with Greene in Smith's coaching group and will be serious medal contenders.
"Who says I'm the favourite?," asked Greene. "I still have to go out there and run the race."
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