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"It was like we didn’t exist"

In the latest episode of IAAF Inside Athletics, Ato Boldon chats to Olympic and four time world champion Bruny Surin to find out what has changed in the world of sprinting since their competitive days.

Male sprinting has developed drastically over the last decade. Only three athletes’ records from prior to the turn of the millennium feature in the top ten of the 100m all-time-list: Maurice Greene, Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin.

Apart from technique, Boldon and Surin are wondering: what is the difference between competitors then and now? “The guys now are friendlier,” concludes Surin. “In our time there was more intimidation, a lot of talking. Now there is a lot less intimidation, the guys are together.”

Surin won 60m gold in the 1993 and 1995 world indoor championships, and with the Canadian relay dominated the 4x100m in the years of 1995-1997, beating the US relay on home turf in the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

He recalls going into the 1996 Games as underdogs, despite having won the world championships the previous year, when the USA dropped the baton. But the outsider-role suited the team. 

“Even though we were one of the favourites to win gold or silver [on paper], not one time were we mentioned. It was like we didn’t exist. But for us it was more motivation.”

Find out what else Surin recalls from his days on the track in the full interview below: