The concept of an intriguing match race between two of the sport's biggest stars has already caught fire within the global track and field community. And now it appears that only the details remain to be ironed out.
According to Reuters News Agency, triple-2012 Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has accepted a challenge from Mo Farah, gold medalist in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters in London, to meet in a unique match race for charity which would stretch them both out of their respective comfort zones.
The distance-of-choice appears to be 600 meters.
From a promoter's standpoint, the mid-distance duel would be a match made in heaven. Bolt and Farah were the unrivaled stars of Olympic Stadium during the 2012 Summer Games. And it doesn't hurt that the two superstars share the same agent.
From a competitor's standpoint, the distance runner and the sprinter are on divergent paths.
Farah, 30, just recently expanded his range of expertise, setting a personal record in the shorter 3,000 (7 minutes, 36.85 seconds) and a British national record in the 1,500 (3:28.81).
On the other hand, Bolt, 26, the world record-holder in the 100 and 200-meter dash, has often voiced his dislike for the painful 400 and admits to only running it on the insistence of his coach. The 600 lies on the upper reaches of his training regimen and undoubtedly produces even greater winces of dread.
Still, Bolt seemed glad to accept the challenge in the name of charity. From a Sky News interview, Bolt responded like a true sportsman:
"That sounds fun. It's going to be hard, but it's charity so it's all about fun and enjoyment. I'm up for anything, for anything's possible."
The head-to-head would likely take place after the 2013 track season as both athletes are on a precise training schedule designed to peak for the World Outdoor Championships in Moscow August 10-18 and carry over to the final Diamond League meets in Stockholm, Zurich and Brussels.
Already the odds-makers have Farah a 7-2 favorite at 600 meters.
Here is a good analysis as to some possible race strategies to be employed by each runner.
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