Poor start costs sprint sen­sa­tion swan song glory

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - SCOTT GUL­LAN

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.

Usain Bolt of Ja­maica.

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