Laurie Nealin (Reuters)
April 20 - World 100m record holder Donovan Bailey on Tuesday pronounced himself fit and eager to compete this summer in the Canadian championships and Pan American Games in Winnipeg.
In a telephone interview from Toronto, Canada's 1996 Olympic gold medallist said he has "completely recovered" from an Achilles tendon injury sustained last autumn and is close to being in top competitive form.
"I'm training everyday. I could run right now so we're not really worried about it," said Bailey, who trains in Austin, Texas.
Bailey said he would compete in a few, likely low-profile, races prior to the summer's big meets.
"We plan on running a relay in the next couple of weeks, which day I don't know, probably in Texas. There's no specific event. In Austin, we can organise a track meet in an hour," he added.
Bailey said he also hopes to run with training mates Bruny Surin and Glenroy Gilbert in the Pan Am Games 4x100m relay. Bailey, Gilbert and Surin, along with Robert Esme, won Olympic relay gold for Canada at the Atlanta Games. That possibility will not be confirmed, however, until Canada's Pan Am Games athletics team is named following the Canadian championships in late June.
Some 500 track and field athletes from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean will compete July 24 to 30 in the Games. Brazilian marathoner Ronaldo da Costa, who clocked the fastest-ever time for the 42.195km race last autumn in Berlin, will be among the contenders for Pan Am gold.
The XIII Pan American Games, July 23 to August 8, will feature some 5,300 athletes from 42 countries competing in 41 sports.