Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt’s attempt to end his glittering individual race career on a high went in vain after he failed to win gold in the 100 metres event at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in London. Bolt managed to secure the bronze as the American duo of 35-year-old Justin Gatlin and 21-year-old Christian Coleman took the gold and silver respectively.
Gatlin, twice banned for doping, came through almost unnoticed in lane seven in 9.92 seconds, with Coleman (9.94 sec) holding off the greatest sprinter of all time. Bolt, considered the greatest sprinter ever, suffered a dreadful start and could only claim bronze in 9.95sec. He embraced Gatlin after they streaked through the line with no clear victor immediately apparent.
Speaking after the race, Gatlin said, “I tuned it out [the booing] through the rounds and stayed the course. I did what I had to do. The people who love me are here cheering for me and cheering at home.”
“It is Bolt’s last race. It is an amazing occasion. We are rivals on the track but in the warm-down area, we joke and have a good time. The first thing he did was congratulate me and say that I didn’t deserve the boos. He is an inspiration”, he added.
Bolt praised Gatlin after his win. “I tightened up at the end and that is something you should never do. I didn’t execute when it mattered. I am not fully comfortable in those blocks but you have to work with what you have. I can’t complain about that,” he said.