Justin Gatlin had been talking a lot of shit heading into his showdown in the 100 meters with the world's fastest man. "I like talking about it, I like getting into the feel of it, so I’m sorry, Usain,” Gatlin said. At tonight's Golden Gala in Rome, Gatlin backed up his words.
Gatlin, who won his first major race since his four-year doping ban in 2006, crossed the finish line in 9.94 seconds, which was just ahead of Bolt's 9.95. It might have been a bit slower than the 9.88 Gatlin recently ran in Oregon, but it was a shade faster than the 9.96 he clocked in Doha, Qatar, earlier this year.
Bolt failed to win the 100 for the first time since he was DQ'd for a false start at the 2011 world championships. He last lost an actual race in 2010 to Tyson Gay. In his only other race this year, Bolt won with a rather slow 10.09 in the Cayman Islands.
Gatlin had won the bronze in London last summer, trailing only Bolt and Yohan Blake in the first 100 in which three men ran faster than 9.80. Gatlin and Bolt are expected to go at it again at the world championships in Moscow in August.