Hard as it may be to imagine, if Usain Bolt didn’t love the city of Beijing, this weekend would have certainly made him think of it as a lucky charm. On the site of his greatest performance at the Olympic stage, Bolt romped home to a stunning victory, beating pre-race favourite Justin Gatlin to retain his world 100m title.
At the Bird’s Nest, Bolt looked to put paid to the pre-meet doubts about his fitness level and desire to win. Gatlin came into the meet on the back of a stunning 28-race unbeaten streak, and was clearly the man to beat, despite earning a reputation as the bad guy after his doping scandals.
The Jamaican sprinter managed to outrun Gatlin, but only by one-hundredth of a second; that’s how excruciatingly close and tantalisingly poised the photo finish was. Bolt finished 9.79 seconds, .02 seconds slower than Gatlin’s finish in the semi-final, but it was enough to retain the world crown. Canada’s Andre de Grasse and young American Trayvon Bromell were joint bronze winners finishing with 9.92secs.
Bolt is now level with Maurice Green and Carl Lewis as athletes to have won three world championships. This is his 9th gold medal at the world stage, adding to his previous two 100m wins, three 200m wins and three sprint relay victories.
Main image: IAAF