Greene unfazed by comic rivalry
Dai Greene has played down his alleged criticism of his United States rivals.
It will come as a shock to comic book fans, but in athletics terms at least, peace appears to have broken out between Batman and The Riddler.
In this instance Batman is not a crime fighter from Gotham but an American athlete by the name of Bershawn Jackson. The Riddler is not an arch criminal but world 400 metres hurdles champion Dai Greene.
Their spat came about following Greene's victory in Daegu last year, when the Welshman was misquoted as calling the Americans "over-rated" after Jackson and compatriot Angelo Taylor could only finish sixth and seventh respectively.
That led to Jackson predicting an American clean sweep in the 400m hurdles in London - as they achieved in Beijing in 2008 - and claiming Greene had written a "cheque he can't cash", while Taylor derided Greene's winning time of 48.26s.
Greene wavered between saying he was "not bothered" by what the Americans think of him to not wanting to be the man who "just slags them off," but Jackson certainly appeared to have heard of the Welshman's explanation.
"It's nothing, the media are making it more than it really is," said Jackson, who revealed his Batman nickname has stuck since he was nine years old due to his "big ears that fly when I run".
"He (Greene) is a great competitor and the world champion. He was the best man on that day. I take nothing away from him and what he accomplished."
Greene also criticised the role of newspapers - despite writing a column for one of them - but added: "When I first read the story I was obviously a bit disappointed that I'd been misquoted.
"I don't want to be seen as the athlete who just slags them off. They're the most successful nation in the 400m hurdles in recent years. I'm not stupid, I know that. It's interesting what they have to say about me but I'm not too bothered if I'm honest.
"I'm sure (Jackson) must have caught wind of what I said to explain it. Whether he wants to speak to me or not it doesn't really bother me. I don't come here to make friends. I see him only maybe six times in a year. It's no stress to me. I just want to be respectful to my opponents.
"I was in Portugal at the time with my training group and we just had a laugh about it. I found it quite comical in a way. I was dubbed the Riddler, so the rest of the group had to have nicknames too.
"Jack (Green) was Poison Ivy, Malcolm (Arnold, his coach) was The Penguin, Lawrence (Clarke) was a little penguin minion, following Malcolm around.
"I guess it doesn't bother me if people find me nice or not nice. I'm always courteous to them. I always congratulate them when they beat me. As long as they see me as a good competitor and someone who stands for high morals in sport as well."
Those high morals also extend to the issue of drugs in athletics, with Greene previously revealing he would tell drug cheats to their face that they should not be on the start line in London.
"Now is the time to be more vocal about it because you get more coverage," he added. "Everyone knows how I feel about it. I'm just proud to say that I do it clean.
"I'm all for people speaking out and getting rid of drug cheats. It lowers the sport sadly."
Greene admits he is not going to "set the world on fire" in tomorrow's Diamond League meeting in Rome after opening his season by finishing second in a race in Rabat on Sunday in 48.96s.
But at least he will have his special gold and black kit given by his sponsors to world number one athletes to wear in the Stadio Olimpico after his luggage arrived a day late - just as he was talking to reporters.
"I'm very relieved to see that bag," Greene joked. "On the tracking card at the airport yesterday they couldn't even find it.
"It was nice to get a race under my belt (in Rabat). It's been so long since I've competed. I was winning coming into the home straight but made a few little mistakes, technical errors. Hopefully that time will come down a bit on Thursday.
"I opened up last year at 48.2 and I didn't really get any faster. I don't want that to happen this year. The way my training has been scheduled it should improve, it should get faster.
"I'm not going to set the world on fire over the next few days but that's okay with me because the better goal obviously is London."