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Ex-champ Johnson believes 'descendants of slaves' will clinch medals in Olympic sprint finals

July 1, 2012 - London

Former Olympic champion Michael Johnson believes black American and Caribbean sprinters, who are believed to have been descended from slaves having a 'superior athletic gene', will win medals in the London 2012 sprint finals.

"Over the last few years, athletes of Afro- Caribbean and Afro-American descent have dominated athletics finals," the Daily Mail quoted Johnson, as saying.It's a fact that hasn't been discussed openly before. It's a taboo subject in the States but it is what it is. Why shouldn't we discuss it?" he added.

According to the report, reigning Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt was born in Trelawny Parish, Jamaica, where British Olympic boss Lord Coe's plantation-owning ancestor George Hyde Park had 297 slaves.

Johnson, 44, had a DNA test for a Channel 4 documentary, Michael Johnson: Survival Of The Fastest, which confirmed he is of West African descent.

"All my life I believed I became an athlete through my own determination, but it's impossible to think that being descended from slaves hasn't left an imprint through the generations," he added.

"Difficult as it was to hear, slavery has benefited descendants like me, I believe there is a superior athletic gene in us," he added.


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