Poor start costs sprint sensation swan song glory
IT’S always been the one chink in the armour.
Usain Bolt has been a poor starter all of his career but through freak natural ability he’s managed to deal with it. That was until his final race. As the dust settled on his heartbreaking loss to American Justin Gatlin in the 100m world championships final, the eight- time Olympic champion only had himself to blame.
He’d had issues with the blocks in the first round heats on Friday and then was slow out again in the semi- final where he was beaten by American Christian Coleman.
The final was the same story. Bolt was horribly slow out, Coleman zoomed to the lead before Gatlin bloused both of them on the line.
“It’s just one of those things,” Bolt said. “My start is killing me. Normally it gets better during the rounds but it didn’t come together.
“And that is what killed me. I felt it was there.
“It was rough. A little bit stressed. But I came out like at any other championships and did my best.
“I am not fully comfortable in those blocks but you have to work with what you have. can’t complain about that.”
Bolt, who turns 31 this month, admitted he knew he was in trouble 30m into the final.
“I needed to be in a better place after 30m but I just wasn’t in that super- shape I needed,” he said. “I gave it my best shot but my body’s telling me it’s time to go.”
The fact it was I two- time drug cheat Gatlin who rained on his farewell parade made it even worse although, as always Bolt, showed his class in defeat.
“He ( Gatlin) is a great competitor. You have to be at your best against him. I really appreciate competing against him and he is a good person.”
According to Gatlin, the 11time world champion even told him he didn’t deserve to be booed by the crowd.