Sunday 22 October 2017

WATCH: Justin Gatlin shocks Usain Bolt to claim 100 metres title at World Championships

Usain Bolt of Jamaica with Justin Gatlin of the U.S. after the final
Usain Bolt of Jamaica with Justin Gatlin of the U.S. after the final
Justin Gatlin won gold

Nick Mashiter

Justin Gatlin gatecrashed Usain Bolt's finale to silence and shock the London Stadium and claim the 100 metres World Championship title.

The American - booed throughout after his previous doping bans - won a highly-charged race in 9.92 seconds as Bolt could only come third on Saturday.

Christian Coleman completed an American one-two in 9.94 secs, with Jamaican Bolt crossing the line in 9.95.

Bolt was aiming to claim a fourth 100m world title after victories in Berlin, Moscow and Beijing, but had another shocking start.

In what was his final global individual race, Bolt again failed to get going after having poor starts in his heat and semi-final - fiercely criticising the blocks after Friday night's heat.

The IAAF had dismissed his complaints, insisting the blocks are the same model as used as in Beijing two years ago.

Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after the race
Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after the race

He recovered in the second half of the race again but could not bring in Gatlin or Coleman - the fastest man in the world going into what was his first international championships.

The result was not immediately clear, with the crowd waiting on the scoreboard, but it left the London Stadium in stunned silence before they began to chant Bolt's name as Gatlin celebrated and was in tears on the track.

Gatlin's celebrations were a sideshow as Bolt still took the plaudits and did a lap of honour, still playing to the crowd when the stadium was emptying.

He said in a trackside interview: "It's wonderful (the crowd's reception), I never expected this. It's just a wonderful experience. London I really appreciate the support you have given me. I'm just really sorry I couldn't end up winning."

Gatlin was the pantomime villain throughout the competition, having previously been banned for doping violations in 2001 and 2006.

But the 2004 100m Olympic champion insisted he blocked out the jeers and thanked Bolt.

"The crowd, I tuned out through the rounds. I stayed the course, I kept my energy through the semi and did what I had to do," he told BBC 2.

The people who love me are here cheering for me, they're at home cheering, my countrymen are cheering for me and that's what I've been focusing on.

"It's just a surreal moment. I thought about the things I would do if I did win - I did none of that. It was 2004 all over again. I won by a little margin so to be able to come across the line and have that excitement... It's still an amazing night.

"It's Usain Bolt's last race. To be able to run against him through the years is just amazing.

"We're rivals on the track but in the warm-up area we're joking and the first thing he said to me was, 'Congratulations'. He said, 'You don't deserve all these boos'. I thank him for inspiring me throughout my career and he's an amazing man."

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