Justin Gatlin Says He’s More Popular In Jamaica Than USA

Monday, June 17, 2024, 9:10 AM GMT-5

For the most part, American retired sprinter Justin Alexander Gatlin does not get the love in America that Jamaican track athletes get in Jamaica. According to the Olympic and World Champion, when he’s out and about in the US he does not get recognised as much as when he is in Jamaica.

“Jamaicans are the best fans, they are die heart, they just want really good competition,” said Gatlin before recalling a moment in time when he felt like “public enemy number one” in Jamaica. However, he found out later that it was never personal after getting support from Jamaicans on his podcast.

He even detailed a moment in time when he avoided a stopover in Jamaica and took a longer trip/flight to avoid the island. Gatlin was answering questions put to him by fellow retired sprinter and former record holder Asafa Powell on his podcast titled Fast Lane Lifestyle.

Asafa Powell

“It’s the pride that comes with it… those are one of the things i wish i was born into,” says Gatlin before explaining that it’s not an American thing to “respect” track athletes, he also revealed that he felt unappreciated to the point that he had thoughts of leaving to represent an “island” or other nation that will appreciate him more.

Despite the competitive past and the two athletes being around each other, the men disclosed that they have never spoken at length in the past, “over the years i would like” why don’t we talk to each other. Asafa recalled hanging out with “Justin once indirectly”, however, the two are enjoying each other’s company nowadays.

Both former athletes stated in the podcast that if they knew the other was so cool, they would have been friends long ago. “It would be two and a half years before I ever heard what Asfa’s voice sounds like… he did not talk a lot,” stated Gatlin.

Watch more in the interview below:

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