WORLD CHAMPION DAI Greene and 400m hurdles rival Bershawn Jackson tried to bury the hatchet here on Wednesday after the Briton’s recent spat with his American opposition.
Greene has upset his US rivals by calling 400m Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt a “liar, thief and cheat” while allegedly saying the Americans in his own event were “overrated” — something he claims was taken out of context.
Two-time Olympic 400m hurdles champion Angelo Taylor responded by accusing Greene of “trash-talking” and saying he was too slow to win in London later this year.
And Jackson said Greene had “cashed a cheque that he can’t cash” because of his winning time of 48.26sec in last year’s World Championship final in Daegu.
It was not considered a particularly quick time for a World Championship final but then again, Jackson only finished sixth with Taylor seventh.
But Jackson insists that the Americans are still the best.
“Most athletes from America say the US Olympic trials are like the Olympics so I just want to get ready for my trials,” he said ahead of his meeting with Greene here on Thursday.
“Greene’s a great competitor but first there’s our trials. The same three never make the team. Over the last four or five years it’s never been the same consistent three guys, there’s always a new guy. For me the first objective is to make the team and after that I can hope to make my dream a reality.
“No one runs to come second or third, we’re all trying to achieve the same goal but the main thing is to make the team because without making the team you don’t have a shot at an Olympic medal at all.”
And the man known as Batman because “I’ve got big ears and I fly when I run”, says the media have blown this spat out of proportion.
“The media are making it more than it is, there’s no problem between me and David (Dai) Greene,” said Jackson.
“He’s world champion, he was the better man and won that day, I take nothing away from him.
“We’re two great competitors, we’re the best at our event, we do what we’re supposed to do and that’s put on a show for the crowd who pay to watch.”
Greene concurred and was full of respect for his cross-Atlantic rivals.
“There’s a lot that goes on in newspapers but don’t believe all you read in newspapers,” he said.
“I have a lot of respect for the American 400m hurdlers, they’ve been the dominant force in the last 10 years and longer. I wouldn’t criticise them although recently others have done well.
“For the Olympics my main threat will be from the US. I’ve huge respect for them and they’re still competing at a high level.”