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Watch: Michael Johnson Has Lovely Little Dig At Ambition Of British Athletics On BBC

Watch: Michael Johnson Has Lovely Little Dig At Ambition Of British Athletics On BBC
By PJ Browne

What should have been a routine run in the 60m semi-final at the World Indoor Championships on Saturday evening proved to be anything but for British sprinter CJ Ujah. He was disqualified after false starting.

Prior to the race, Gabby Logan, Denise Lewis and Michael Johnson discussed Ujah's progression as an athlete. The 23-year-old was last summer a member of the British men's 4x100m relay team which won gold at the World Championships.

Ujah, along with the other members of that team - Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake - have since expressed ambitions to also win individual medals.

While Michael Johnson praised the quartet for their ambition, he also had a little dig at British athletics, saying that a relay gold medal winner can live off that alone in Britain but that is not the case in the US.

That's refreshing to hear because unlike in America, you can live off of a relay medal in this country. These athletes, I've heard all of them say, 'Hey, I want more than that'.

You don't get into this sport to win relay medals, it's an individual sport. It's very refreshing to hear all of those athletes on that relay last year say, 'Yeah, I want more. That gave me confidence but it also made me more hungry'.




After the semi-final, which was won by Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian, Johnson said that he had spoken to Ujah earlier in the day and had offered him some advice.

He also had very little sympathy regarding Ujah's disqualification.


"I said to him when I saw him in the lobby, 'Look, somebody always does something stupid, make sure that it's not you.

"I just can't believe this because he seemed like he's in a really good space and I'm not sure what he would have been thinking.

"Just for people at home, I know you see a lot of false starts but it is not difficult. I never false started in a race. Look, we saw Usain Bolt do it once and he's the best there's ever been.


"This is not hard to do and especially when you've got that sort of speed. This was a semi-final where he would not even have had to run his best. Like Steve Cram said, you didn't have to get a blazing start here to get through. You just don't take the chance."

Watch: Spaniard Thinks He's World Champion, Finds Out He's Been Disqualified During TV Interview

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