The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Maurice, Tim in war of words

California: Sprint rivals Tim Montgomery and Maurice Greene were involved in a war of words on Wednesday almost as explosive as their 100-metre starts.

“I don’t respect no one that don’t respect me,” world record holder Montgomery told reporters when asked about Greene, who held the record until last September.

“Stupid,” said Greene of Montgomery when quizzed later about his fellow American’s decision to leave his coach Trevor Graham last year.

From how fast their races would be run to the pressures of being the world’s fastest man, the two sprinters traded verbal jabs during and after a news conference on the eve of the US championships in nearby Palo Alto.

The pair will not clash on the track during the four-day competition to decide the US team for the world championships in Paris in August. Montgomery will run the 100 m and Greene the 200 but neither needed a starting block to blast off on Wednesday.

“Would you like to have your world record back'”, Montgomery called out from the back of the room after Greene recognised him from the podium.

“I will get it back,” replied Greene.

Montgomery denied the pressure of being the world record holder was so intense he was ready for Greene to take it back.

But he said: “Four months ago, five months ago, I thought about calling it a season.

“I was going through a lot of things,” he said without alluding to his decision to leave Graham.

“Now the rain and clouds are starting to spread and the sun is starting to come out,” Montgomery said.

“If I don’t have a headwind, you are going to see some stuff out of me come Friday (in the 100 m final) you haven’t seen in a long time.”

Greene, though, had his doubts.

Asked for his prediction for the 100 m final, the Olympic and triple world champion said: “I don’t think they will run under 10 (seconds). It’s very windy out there this time of the year.”

Greene said he was not sure when the duo would meet again on the track. He watched the race from the stands when Montgomery produced his world record run of 9.78 seconds in Paris last September.

Montgomery suggested Greene was missing his opportunity this weekend.

“No negotiations would be needed, all you’ve got to do is show up at the USA trials,” Montgomery said.

But Greene has decided to run the 200 m at the trials since he is guaranteed a berth in the world championships 100 m as the title holder.

“Why is he concentrating on the 200 m when the world record is in the 100 m'” Montgomery asked. “If he wants the record back, I want him to come and get it.

“I respect his running but I don’t respect him as a person,” Montgomery said of Greene.

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