Usain Bolt beats Justin Gatlin for gold medal

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY RAF CASERT

Af­ter two years of un­cer­tainty, Usain Bolt pro­duced his big­gest clutch per­for­mance to beat ri­val Justin Gatlin on Sun­day in the 100-me­ter fi­nal at the world cham­pi­onships with a lunge at the line.

Bolt was trail­ing for al­most all of Sun­day’s race, the big­gest show­down in the sport in years. But with grit­ted teeth, the two-time Olympic cham­pion clawed back into con­tention and made his gi­ant stride count to win in 9.79 sec­onds — 0.01 sec­onds faster than the Amer­i­can vet­eran.

Ris­ing to the oc­ca­sion as he al­ways does, Bolt put a shock­ingly bad semi­fi­nal heat be­hind him to re­cover with a good start in the fi­nal. Two lanes to his right, Gatlin was as good as per­fect for most of the race, but for seven years now, there is no deny­ing the great­est sprinter in history.

“It is all about run­ning the race and get­ting it done,” Bolt said.

Go­ing even just be­fore of the fin­ish line, Bolt glanced left to Gatlin in Lane 7 and threw his weight for­ward in a dip of des­per­a­tion. His yel­low-col­ored Ja­maica jersey crossed marginally ahead the red­clad Gatlin for his third world ti­tle in the 100.

Bolt kept on pow­er­ing along in cel­e­bra­tion, and when he re­turned, Gatlin gave him a warm hug. At 33, Gatlin had been un­beaten for two years as Bolt strug­gled with in­jury. But on the big­gest of oc­ca­sions, tim­ing was with Bolt again.

“Got nipped at the line by great Usain,” Gatlin said.

In a dead heat for third, Trayvon Bromell of the United States and An­dre De Grasse of Canada shared bronze in 9.911 sec­onds.

Soon, the reg­gae was blar­ing through the public ad­dress sys­tem at the Bird’s Nest and Bolt was per­form­ing his sig­na­ture Light­ning Bolt move.

It could have been so dif­fer­ent had Bolt failed to re­cover from a stum­ble at the start in the semi­fi­nals.

“I think I hit my foot too hard,” Bolt said af­ter the ear­lier race. “I just stum­bled. I re­ally don’t know what hap­pened.”

The Ja­maican great had as many as seven rac­ers to catch be­fore win­ning the heat. Anx­ious, he spent the last 10 me­ters look­ing to his left to make sure he would make the fi­nal.

The fi­nal was even tougher — even with one of Bolt’s best starts in years. This time, it was Gatlin who tripped in the race.

“On the last five me­ters, I kind of stum­bled a bit,” said Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic gold medal­ist in the 100.

Gatlin was aching for another gold medal, reach­ing his peak form at 33 af­ter serv­ing a fouryear dop­ing sus­pen­sion mid­way through his ca­reer. He lost the tight­est fin­ish since the 2003 cham­pi­onships in Paris.

Af­ter be­com­ing a mother last year, there also was plenty of doubt in the hep­tathlon about Olympic cham­pion Jes­sica En­nisHill.

Three years af­ter the 2012 Lon- don Games, En­nis-Hill re­mains the stand­out she once was. With three solid per­for­mances in the long jump, the javelin and the con­clud­ing 800, En­nis-Hill won her sec­ond world ti­tle, six years af­ter her first.

Run­ner- up Bri­anne TheisenEa­ton needed to make up about six sec­onds in the 800 to win and went out fast to pres­sure En­nisHill with an early burst of speed. But En­nis-Hill kept her within strik­ing dis­tance and swept past the Cana­dian in the fin­ish­ing straight.

En­nis- Hill won with 6,669 points, 115 points ahead of Theisen-Ea­ton. Laura Ikau­nieceAd­mid­ina of Latvia took bronze with 6,516 points.

In the men’s ham­mer throw, Pawel Fa­jdeck of Poland re­tained his world cham­pi­onship ti­tle by win­ning with a best mark of 80.88 me­ters, beat­ing three-time Asian Games cham­pion Dlishod Nazarov of Ta­jik­istan and another Pole, Wo­j­ciech Now­icki.

The host na­tion again fell short of a gold medal when Miguel An­gel Lopez of Spain held off a strong chal­lenge from Wang Zhen to win the 20-kilo­me­ter walk.

Even though Wang had been un­de­feated for a year, he en­tered the Bird’s Nest when Lopez was al­ready mov­ing to­ward the fin­ish line cel­e­brat­ing a gold medal to add to his Euro­pean ti­tle from last year. Ben­jamin Thorne of Canada was third.

AP

From left, United States’ sil­ver medal win­ner Justin Gatlin, United States’ Tyson Gay, Ja­maica’s gold medal win­ner Usain Bolt, United States’ Mike Rodgers and United States’ bronze medal win­ner Trayvon Bromell, com­pete in the men’s 100-me­ter fi­nal dur­ing the World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships at the Bird’s Nest sta­dium in Bei­jing, Sun­day, Aug. 23.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.