Michael Johnson held the 200m world record for more than 12 years until Usain Bolt beat it by .02 seconds at the 2008 Olympics. Bolt then lowered it another .11 seconds to 19.19 seconds at the 2009 World Championships.
But Johnson is confident that he would have defeated Bolt over 200m if they had the opportunity to race while both were in their prime.
“I win that race every day,” Johnson said to Natalie Morales on TODAY. “Every time we line up, I win that race, guaranteed.”
Bolt is the 100m world record holder, in addition to the 200m. Johnson’s 400m world record has stood for nearly 17 years.
Johnson was the 1996 Olympic 200m champion. He failed to advance to the Olympic 200m final in 1992 while dealing with food poisoning, which he calls “still to this day the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to deal with.” He did not make the 2000 Olympic team in the 200m after pulling up with an injury during Trials.
Bolt, the only man with multiple Olympic 200m gold medals, will race for his third Olympic 200m title in Rio.