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NEW YORK - US sprinter Mike Rodgers is on the fast track towards becoming his nation's leading sprinter and while he has set a target of winning a 2012 Olympics medal, he is well aware of the steps needed to achieve his goal.
Rodgers will defend his 60m title at the Millrose Games on January 29 but the diminutive sprinter has set his sights on a much bigger reward in two years' time.
"That's a big dream for me and I would like to medal, some type of hardware," the 1,75m runner told reporters on Tuesday after a news conference promoting this month's meet at Madison Square Garden.
The 24-year-old Rodgers, who won the 100m at the US outdoor championship last year in a wind-assisted 9,91 seconds, said all he had to do was improve his form in the final metres to join the world's elite.
"If I could get my last 20m together I think I would be quite dangerous because my start is probably one of the best in the world," he said.
"If I can hold on my last 20m, it would be something special to see."
The American raced against Bolt when the Jamaican claimed the 100m world record for the first time at the 2008 Reebok Grand Prix meet in New York, where Rodgers finished fourth. He won the Reebok race last year.
"To be 6ft5in (1,96m) and run like that, he's a freak of nature," Rodgers said of Bolt.
"The way he gets out of the blocks like that, like a 5ft9in person."
Rodgers, one year older than Bolt, recalled what it felt like to be dwarfed by the world's greatest sprinter.
"It's like you're taking two or three strides and he's taking one," Rodgers said. "Oh my God. He's something else." - Reuters