Usain Bolt retained his world 100m title on Sunday by beating hot favorite and two-time doper Justin Gatlin. Bolt perhaps produced his greatest performance of all time to overcome a troubled build-up to notch up yet another 100m win in Beijing.
Gatlin came in the race riding high on a 28-race winning streak and relishing his “bad boy” image in sports.
Bolt has now won three 100m World races which levels him at per with Carl Lewis and Maurice Greene.
Bolt clocked 9.79 seconds while scripting his emphatic win at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, two-tenths more than his world record.
Canada’s Andre de Grasse and American Trayvon Bromell were both awarded bronzes in 9.92secs.
Gatlin, who looked unbeatable after clocking 9.77 seconds in his own semifinals, but starting at lane seven, was the slowest starter among the contenders. 33-year-old Gatlin and 28-year-old Bolt were leveled at 50m, but the former tightened up horribly during the last 30 meters that allowed the Jamaican to fly past the finishing line edging him by one-hundredth of a second. Gatlin payed the price for leaning early.
Bolt, the reigning Olympic and World champion, has struggled to strike form throughout this 2015 season.
“This means a lot because I’ve been struggling all season, it’s taken me a while to work things out,” Bolt told BBC Sport after winning.
“It’s been up and down but it’s OK now.”
Former World champion Michael Johnson described Bolt in a statement.
“Usain Bolt was challenged here more than he has been at any time during his career. Put on top of that the burden of ‘saving the sport’ which was placed on his shoulders, it means that the pressure was there. I have to give him so much credit for that performance.”