Ja­maica’s Bolt beats Gatlin to win world 200m gold

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY LUKE PHILLIPS

Ja­maican Usain Bolt easily out­stripped Amer­i­can ri­val Justin Gatlin to claim his fourth con­sec­u­tive world 200m ti­tle on Thurs­day and add to the 100m gold he won at the week­end.

Bolt clocked a world-lead­ing 19.55 sec­onds to ex­tend his dom­i­na­tion of sprint­ing since tak­ing the world by storm at the 2008 Bei­jing Olympics at the same Bird’s Nest sta­dium.

Gatlin, who has served two dop­ing bans, clocked 19.74sec, with South African Anaso Jo­bod­wana tak­ing bronze with a na­tional record of 19.87sec.

The vic­tory meant Bolt has now re­mark­ably won 11 of the last 12 in­di­vid­ual Olympic and world sprint ti­tles since shoot­ing to fame at the Bei­jing Games, his only blip com­ing af­ter a false start in the 100m at the 2011 worlds in Daegu.

Huge cheers greeted Bolt, wear­ing ly­cra shorts and sin­glet in the green, gold and black col­ors of Ja­maica, placed in lane six, with Gatlin on his in­side in lane four of the nine-lane track.

Ap­plause also rang out for Gatlin, in a red one-piece suit, the tan­noy pre­sen­ters build­ing up the at­mos­phere to mir­ror a box­ing match at a packed Bird’s Nest.

The Amer­i­can, as in the 100m, suf­fered from a slower start than Bolt, who shot out of his blocks. Gatlin, a renowned fast starter who hasn’t lost over 200m since 2013 and has set per­sonal best of 19.57sec this sea­son, looked threat­en­ing com­ing off the bend.

But sand­wiched be­tween Bri­tain’s Zhar­nel Hughes and Jo­bod­wana, Bolt, in fult tilt af­ter an elec­tri­fy­ing bend, re­sponded by mov­ing into his famed “drive phase,” un­leash­ing the full power from his long legs.

Un­like the 100m, when it came down to one-hun­dredth of a sec­ond to sep­a­rate Bolt from Gatlin, there were no such doubts this time.

And Bolt, also reign­ing dou­ble Olympic cham­pion and world record holder over 200m, knew it, thumb­ing him­self in the chest as he crossed the line in a mes­sage to the many doubters he has had this sea­son af­ter pelvic joint pain kept him out of com­pet­i­tive ac­tion for six weeks.

Gatlin, in the form of his life at the age of 33, pre­vi­ously won world 200m gold in Helsinki be­fore test­ing pos­i­tive for testos­terone and serv­ing a dop­ing ban be­tween 2006-2010, some­thing he cred­its with hav­ing ex­tended his longevity hav­ing sat out four years of hard, com­pet­i­tive rac­ing.

And for a sport mired in dop­ing al­le­ga­tions in the build-up to the worlds, Bolt, one of ath­let­ics’ most tested stars, again stepped up to the mark not only to help boost the in­tegrity and cred­i­bil­ity of track and field but also ce­ment his leg­endary sta­tus.

AFP

Ja­maica’s Usain Bolt kisses the track af­ter win­ning the fi­nal of the men’s 200 me­ters ath­let­ics event at the 2015 IAAF World Cham­pi­onships at the “Bird’s Nest” Na­tional Sta­dium in Bei­jing on Thurs­day, Aug. 27.

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