Hamburg - In the real world, sprint stars Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay would have already raced against each other three times this season.
That is the number of meets held so far in the Golden League series, the elite event in the sport of athletics offering a jackpot of 1 million dollars.
Formula One drivers compete against each other 17 times a year, the best footballers, basketball players and golfers meet on a regular basis and even top tennis players have at least a dozen tournaments each year in which the best compete.
Not so the world's fastest men who prefer to meet as rarely as possible - which appears to be part of the hype.
The triple world champion Gay and the triple Olympic champion Bolt last raced against each other on May 31, 2008.
The next showdown will not come until the August 15-23, 2009, world championships in Berlin.
A hyped Olympic duel last year in Beijing never materialized because Gay limped out injured in the semi-finals.
The Jamaican Bolt redefined the sprint world in China when he bettered the 100m world record to 9.69 seconds and the 200m mark to 19.30 seconds.
Gay, the latest US top sprinter, has a personal best 9.77 seconds in the 100m and 19.58 in the 200.
Gay equalled his 9.77 result on Friday with a big win at the Golden League meet in Rome which underlined that he is not ready to simply hand over the world titles to Bolt in Berlin.
"I feel that I'm improving," said Gay after the race. "I was working really hard for this, but I'm still training and I feel good."
Bolt says: "I'm in good shape, but I'm not fully ready yet. I still need to work on a few technical things."
Gay leads the 2009 lists with the 19.58 and 9.77 times while Bolt has so far clocked 9.86 and 19.59 seconds this year.
A closer look reveals that the American had the better conditions, a tail wind, on both occasions (0.4 metres per second in the 100m and 1.3 in the 200).
Bolt, by comparison, ran his 9.86 into a slight head wind of 0.2 and the 19.59 in a 0.9 head wind, the latter on a wet track in Lausanne, Switzerland, in cool conditions on Tuesday.
The last time they faced each other, Bolt set his forst 100m world record of then 9.72 seconds while Gay had 9.85 seconds on a wet May 31, 2008, in New York.
Whether or not this is an indication for Berlin remains to be seen.(dpa)