Linford Christie received a vote of confidence from the man he must beat to retain the Olympic 100 metres title on Saturday.
Frankie Fredericks, his training partner, believes Christie is in shape for a vigorous defence of the crown he claimed in Barcelona four years ago. The 28-year-old Namibian declared: "If I don't win, I hope Linford does."
Fredericks confirmed for the first time he would run the 100m as well as the 200m, but the announcement came as no surprise. He is the fastest man in the world this year, having twice come within a whisker of the world record with times of 9.86sec and 9.87sec.
Christie has yet to run under 10 seconds this season, but Fredericks maintained: "He is in good shape and has that mental strength. He will be ready.
"If I don't win the 100m I hope Linford does and I'm sure he feels the same way about me. That is the kind of relationship we have. We both know how much we have given in training.
"I would be stupid just to run the 200m here. But the most important thing is I maintain my friendship with Linford. Athletes come and go. I want to know that if I come to London in 10 years time he will still be my friend."