TORONTO (AP) — Donovan Bailey made it through the turn. Michael Johnson didn’t make it to the finish line.
Bailey, the Olympic gold medalist at 100 meters, pulled away from Johnson, the 200- and 400-meter champion, who pulled up injured with about 70 meters remaining in their 150-meter match race Sunday.
Johnson, known for his ability to accelerate on turns — something Bailey doesn’t have to do in the 100 — pulled up grabbing his left thigh.
“He didn’t pull up. He’s a coward,” said Bailey, who was clocked at 14.99 seconds.
Bailey looked around for Johnson even before he crossed the finish line and appeared to wave him on.
“I felt my quad tighten up out of the turn,” Johnson said.
Running in front of a raucous home crowd at SkyDome, Bailey won $1 million in the One on One Challenge of Champions.
Bailey had threatened earlier Sunday to pull out of the race, saying he was unhappy with the track conditions and the organization of the event in general. He said he was running under what he called “mental duress.”
Bailey had proclaimed ever since the race was put together in February that he owned the title of “World’s Fastest Man,” and even if Johnson beat him at this rarely run distance, that would not change.
“Mike is not a sprinter. He runs the 200 meters,” Bailey said after the race. “… Now we can get real sprinters in the event and make it interesting.”
They were each guaranteed $500,000, with an additional $1 million to the winner.
Before the race, Johnson had said he would be willing to risk his $500,000 appearance fee in a winner-take-all purse. Bailey was more cautious, saying he would not part with his guarantee.
After the race, Bailey paraded around the track soaking up the cheers of his countrymen, while Johnson sat on the ground being attended to.
“He’s afraid to lose,” Bailey said. “I think they should run this race again so I can kick his ass again.
“There was never any doubt in my mind that I am the fastest man in the world.”
Bailey started in the inside lane of the two-lane track — just the way he wanted.
That was the only thing he was happy about before the race.
Bailey got out of the blocks quickly and was leading at 50 meters shortly before completing the curve. And he still was in front when Johnson suddenly pulled up.
After the race, Johnson, who had earlier been highly critical of Bailey’s demeanor, shook his hand and congratulated him.
While that was taking place, a hail of fireworks enveloped the arena, while the crowd, estimated about 25,000 — well below the expected 45,000 — was celebrating.