It’s the race the whole world wants to see – sprinter Usain Bolt taking on long-distance runner Mo Farah.
Both are exceptional athletes with blistering pace over their distances.
Farah has thrown down the gauntlet and Bolt has accepted.
The challenge is a 600 metre track race.
Bolt has the credentials to leave Farah for dust over sprint distances as Olympic 100m and 200m champion.
Farah would likely grind Bolt into the dust over longer distances as the Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion.
Fast and furious
Both have indicated they are up for the race and the proceeds would go to charity.
Behind the scenes, both are represented by the same management team, so the likelihood is the arrangements were pre-agreed before any announcement to the press.
So how would the pair rate toe-to-toe over 600 metres.
The problems would also seem to lie in Bolt’s camp. He is a sprinter who will feel the pain raising the distance he has to run.
He has talked about trying out 400m in the past, so has no doubt tried doubling up on his 200m race in training and feels comfortable about the pain his body will undergo over those extra metres.
Sprinters are fast and furious runners. When the gun goes off, their bodies are trained to react and punp out their power as quickly as they can. Sprinting is about strength and power in short bursts.
Other athletes, like former sprinter Darren Campbell, believe Bolt would have to instigate a special training regime for several weeks or months just for this one race.
The race would not only be about speed – stamina and tactics come into play as well.
Tactics and stamina
Campbell reckons Farah can hit a 50 second 400m, while Bolt is more likely to clock 45 seconds.
That five seconds is a short time but a long distance in a 400m race.
Taking it up a notch to 600m stretches the gap the other way and the distance Bolt has to make up on Farah.
If Bolt could live with Farah’s stamina over the first 400m or so, then his sprint kick might win him the day.
But just as Bolt will be honing his stamina and tactical skills, Farah will be working on his speed.
Who will win?
It’s anyone’s guess really, with too many variables involved to call a clear-cut winner.
But whoever crosses the line first will undoubtedly have won one of the races of this and any other century.