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Running in his final 100-meter race on Saturday at the 2017 World Championships in England, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt came out of the starting blocks slow and could not catch up to the United States’ Justin Gatlin or Christian Coleman, finishing third.
Gatlin posted a winning time of 9.92 seconds, followed by Coleman (9.94) and then the world record-holder Bolt (9.95).
It was the first time Bolt has ever lost the 100-meters at the World Championships. The 21-year-old Coleman came out of the starting blocks fast and never really ceded the lead with Bolt trailing him ever so slightly. Then, as they hit the final 50 meters, Gatlin, 35, surged into the lead from lane 8.
It is the first time in over a decade Bolt was beaten in any individual race. It is also Gatlin’s first gold in the 100 meters since the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki.
“I didn’t think about myself, I thought about the fans in the stands. I thought about all my supporters back at the hotel or my countrymen watching at home,” Gatlin said after the race. “I didn’t do it for me, all the times I’ve lost to Usain and gotten silver and bronzes, today I just did it for others who really wanted me to go out there and do it.”
After he was shown as the winner on the jumbotron in the stadium, Gatlin fell to his knees in front of Bolt, bowing to him as a sign of respect.
“I couldn’t see anything from lane 8 and I know at the starting line, it was a Usain Bolt show,” Gatlin said. “I knew I had some of an advantage because I was in lane 8 but I also had a disadvantage because I couldn’t see them, so I just ran for my life.
“I dreamed about this day. I worked hard for this day. It took for me to not be selfish and think about others to give me that fight and that’s what mattered the most.”
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