Usain Bolt lost his last career solo race to Justin Gatlin at IAAF 100m
World Championships final.
It wasn’t the kind of end to a career the world expected as American athlete, Justin Gatlin gatecrashed Usain Bolt’s finale to claim the 100m world championship title. At the end of the race, Gatlin bowed down to Bolt.
Gatlin won a highly-charged race in 9.92 seconds as Bolt could only come third behind Christian Coleman.
With this sad defeat, Usain Bolt the great Jamaican will retire after the IAAF World Championships in London, bringing the curtain down on an incomparable career.
Gatlin claimed not to be bothered by the boos of the London crowd. “I tuned it out through the rounds and stayed the course,” he said. “I did what I had to do. The people who love me are here cheering for me and cheering at home.
“I’ve had many victories and many defeats down the years. It’s an amazing occasion. We’re rivals on the track but in the warm-down area we joke and have a good time. The first thing he [Bolt] did was congratulate me and say that I didn’t deserve the boos. He’s an inspiration.”
As you read this, you are already in the post-Bolt era, with only a 4 x 100m relay to come, which appeared in his schedule as a kind of insurance policy against defeat in the 100m.
But this Saturday night shocker was his real departure from the lone-wolf world of sprinting, where he became the most globally recognised sportsman since Muhammad Ali, with a greater reach than a Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan.
In total, Bolt’s work in 100m and 200m World and Olympic finals since 2008 has consumed less than four minutes of the planet’s time. His brilliance has been meted out in 10secs and 20secs chunks, with a false start in 2011 in South Korea the only blemish.
But in those bursts, spread across nine years, he has taken up permanent residence in the human imagination, as the embodiment of irresistible speed, packed into an endearing personality. His exuberance, and track devouring stride, have the been the biggest staging posts in world sport for almost a decade.