By Mary Jolli more

TORONTO, Reuter: Ben Johnson returned home from his disappointing European tour weary, but optimistic that he ‘would be ready to run his best in the Seoul Games next month.

“I’m tired. I need to rest for a few days and then start training again for Seoul,” Johnson told Reuters.

“I’ve got four weeks to pull it all back together.”

Johnson finished third twice within a week, last Wednesday at Zurich and Sunday in Cologne, the first time he’s had ‘consecutive losses in the 100meter event in three years.

Johnson, who last year stunned the athletics world with 2 record run of 9.83 seconds at the Rome World Championships, is coming off a hamstring injury. The Jamaican born sprinter, however, insists he is in good physical shape.

“Physically I felt good, but the extra gear just wasn’t there. I had felt good in Zurich, but I ran a terrible race. I still ran 10flat ‘which tells me I could be strong enough to g0 9.7,” he said.

When asked what went wrong in his race on Sunday, Johnson said in a telephone interview on Tuesday, “Everything I just couldn’t go, after 60 meters no overdrive, too tired.”

Johnson’s personal physician, Dr. Mario. Astaphan, said the world record holder’s hamstring was 100 percent healed.

“But the muscles aren’t firing as they did last year,” said Astaphan, who treated Johnson in June at his clinic in the Caribbean Island of St. Kits.

‘Waldemar Matuszewski, a Polish Born asseuse who tends to Johnson’s muscles daily agreed the injury has healed.

“Everything is all right with the muscle. But there’s not enough power to finish the race,” Matuszewski said.

In Zurich, American Carl Lewis won in 9.93 seconds and teammate Calvin Smith was second in 9.97. Johnson, after being charged with one false start, lose his form with 20 meters to go and was third in 10 seconds,

On Sunday, Johnson finished third again — this time behind Smith and his fellow American Dennis Mitchell. Johnson’s time was a sluggish 1029,

The 26year old Johnson, who won a bronze medal in the 100 meters in the 1984 games at Los Angeles, has no races scheduled between now and the Seoul! Olympics.

While most Canadian Olympics are slated to leave for Seoul on September 9, Johnson may fly to a pre-olympic training camp in Japan earlier to get acclimatised.

Article extracted from this publication >> September 2, 1988