Jarrod Geddes gears up to take on world champion LaShawn Merritt in Sydney Track Classic
By Daniel Lane
Sydney Morning Herald
March 11, 2014
Sutherland sprinter Jarrod Geddes described being pitted against American world 400-metre champion LaShawn Merritt in the 200m at Saturday night's Track Classic at Sydney Olympic Park as the next big challenge of his quest to represent Australia in the 100m and 200m double at this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Geddes, who spent part of his summer training in Jamaica alongside Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man, conceded Merritt represented a massive challenge. The 19.98 seconds he clocked for the event in 2007 was faster than any time fever posted by an Australian.
"He's an exceptional athlete — a world champion — and he brings a lot of experience stemming from a champion junior to where he is now," Geddes said of Merritt. "He brings a lot of hunger to the race."
John Steffensen, the 2006 Commonwealth Games 400m champion, has entered in the gruelling 800m event while American world 110m hurdles champion David Oliver said both he and Merritt were aware of the pressure on them to perform.
"People will expect a world-champion type performance," Oliver told Fairfax Media. "Most of us are just coming out of the winter/fall training cycles and are just starting to compete, but we know people will expect to see good runs from world champions.
"When you're on our level you know people come to watch you and you always put your best foot forward. It's like painting a picture . . . you don't want to put your name next to garbage."