Usain Bolt falls to Americans Gatlin and Coleman in 100m

Usain Bolt falls to Americans Gatlin and Coleman in 100m

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August 6, 2017
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Global sprint great Usain Bolt had his farewell party spoiled when American Justin Gatlin beat him in the 100 metres at the World Championships in London on Saturday.

In a tight finish, Bolt was punished for his slow start and Gatlin held him off at the line in a season best 9.92 seconds. It was a one-two finish for the USA as Christian Coleman took silver in 9.94 seconds and Bolt took bronze in 9.95, which equals his season best time.

United States' Justin Gatlin, left, and Jamaica's Usain Bolt right, cross the line of the men's 100m final during the World Athletics Championships in London Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

United States’ Justin Gatlin, left, and Jamaica’s Usain Bolt right, cross the line of the men’s 100m final during the World Athletics Championships in London Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017.

Because of his doping past, Gatlin was booed in London even after the race.

Yohan Blake, the other Jamaican in the final finished fourth in 9.99

It was an amazing turnaround for Gatlin, who was the Olympic champion in 2004 before Bolt emerged and won an unprecedented three straight 100-metre titles at the Olympics. Thirteen years later, Gatlin bounced back to win in the Jamaican’s last individual race.

In between, Gatlin’s career was stopped twice for doping suspensions. Yet fighting controversy all the way since, he got perhaps his greatest gold at 35.

And Gatlin knew what Bolt meant to the sport, bowing in admiration in front of him, even after beating him.

Bolt didn’t smile any less afterward.

“It is just one of those things,” Bolt said, showing his carefree demeanor even in defeat. “It has been brilliant.”

Bolt was again slow out of the blocks in the final and came back strong, but he ended up short.

The 30-year-old Bolt, who holds the world records for the 100m and 200m, originally had planned to retire in the wake of Rio 2016. However he reconsidered that plan after his sponsor suggested a London farewell a year later instead.

He will retire from the track by the end of the season.

Only once in seven major 100m finals has Bolt failed to win gold prior to Saturday, and that was at the World Championships in Daegu in 2011 when he false started.

Bolt has won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold at the past three Olympic Games – Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.

However, his unprecedented ‘triple triple’ of nine gold medals was downgraded to eight after Jamaican team-mate Nesta Carter, who was part of the quartet that won the 4x100m in Beijing, tested positive for a banned substance. Carter has appealed against the decision.

Going into London, Bolt had a slow start to the season, dipping under 10 seconds for the first time in Monaco on July 21.

He enters London as only the joint-seventh fastest man over 100m in 2017 with 9.95 seconds, which was achieved in Monaco, but has a history of rising to the big occasion.

Bolt is expected to compete in the 4x100m relay on Saturday, August 12, the penultimate day of competition.

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