The best race: Bei­jing 2015

Athletics Weekly - - Statistics -

Bolt re­gained his ti­tle in Moscow 2013 with a 9.77 vic­tory but went into Bei­jing 2015 with­out be­ing the ob­vi­ous favourite.

For­mer Olympic and world cham­pion Justin Gatlin, who had been sec­ond in Moscow, had been un­beaten for over a year.

He had won Di­a­mond Leagues in Doha, Rome, Lau­sanne and Monaco, all be­tween 9.74 and 9.78.

The Amer­i­can re­mained the favourite in Bei­jing as he won his heat in a win­das­sisted 9.80, then won his semi-fi­nal in an im­pres­sive 9.77.

Bolt strug­gled in com­par­i­son with a laboured 9.96 in his semi.

Be­cause of Gatlin’s drugs bans, much of the me­dia were build­ing the race up as a ‘good ver­sus evil’ con­test.

In the fi­nal, Bolt had the marginally quicker re­ac­tion but Gatlin edged ahead. There was lit­tle in it at halfway and be­tween 50m and 75m Gatlin was mov­ing the faster, open­ing up a clear lead, but Bolt was within strik­ing dis­tance.

The race still seemed the Amer­i­can’s as they hit the last 10 me­tres but as he neared the fin­ish, Gatlin tight­ened up and Bolt edged by to the get the ver­dict by 0.013 of a sec­ond.

The Ja­maican’s 9.79 (9.784) gave him a record ninth world gold medal from Gatlin (9.797).

Usain Bolt films Justin Gatlin on the podiumaf­ter their mem­o­rable con­test in 2015

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