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Bos eyes gold in sprint

Reigning world sprint champion Theo Bos says he will not shy away from his rivals when the blue-ribbon event of the world track championships gets under way Friday in Manchester, England. And the flying Dutchman believes his main challenger, big Frenchman Kevin Sireau, lacks the necessary experience to battle his way through to the gold medal. With only five months to go to the Beijing Olympics, and despite keeping a low profile in the World Cup this season, Bos is still considered the man to beat in the men's prestigious speed events.

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By Agence France Presse

Reigning world sprint champion Theo Bos says he will not shy away from his rivals when the blue-ribbon event of the world track championships gets under way Friday in Manchester, England.

And the flying Dutchman believes his main challenger, big Frenchman Kevin Sireau, lacks the necessary experience to battle his way through to the gold medal.

With only five months to go to the Beijing Olympics, and despite keeping a low profile in the World Cup this season, Bos is still considered the man to beat in the men’s prestigious speed events.

Having been disappointed to win silver behind Australia’s Ryan Bayley at the 2004 Games in Athens, Bos said he now has the experience to avoid making the mistakes he did four years ago.

That means not overdoing the training after a successful sprint bid at the world championships, which in 2004 led him to get sick in the run-up to the Olympics.

But first, Bos insists he will not be aiming to mislead his rivals over his pre-Olympics form in the later stages of Friday’s competition, where he will aim for a fourth world sprint crown.

“I could come into the competition with a strategy to mislead my rivals over my form, but I’m taking these championships seriously,” said Bos, the sprint champion in 2004, 2006 and 2007.

“I want to keep a hold of my rainbow jersey going into the Olympics. Put it this way, anything less than victory here would be a big disappointment.”

Bos’s supremacy will be challenged throughout the tough sprint competition by a strong French contingent, with Australia’s Mark French and compatriot Bayley also likely to challenge.

France dominated the team-sprint competition Wednesday ahead of silver medalists Britain, with Sireau the second man in between starter Gregory Bauge and anchor man Arnaud Tournant.

France has two places allocated at the Olympics for the individual sprint, and so far only Sireau – this season’s World Cup champion – is guaranteed a ticket.

The battle for the second spot between Bauge and Bourgain will add spice to the tournament. Bos, however, believes 20-year-old Sireau is the man to watch.

“Kevin Sireau is my biggest threat, he’s a huge talent. But he maybe lacks a bit of experience.”