It was not a last race that Jamaican Usain Bolt would have loved as he was beaten to the third position by hot rivals American Justin Gatlin and his compatriot Christian Coleman in London on Saturday night in the World Championship 100 metres final.
Gatlin who endured successive boos from the crowd both in his heat and semi final race, because of his past doping offences, finished ahead of Bolt and Coleman, in a surprising end to the major highlight of the night. He returned a time of 9.92 seconds.
Coleman, who had beaten Bolt in the semi-final race earlier in the day, re-enacted the feat, beating the Jamaican, who had dominated the race for nine years. He also returned a time of 9.94 ahead of Bolt’s 9.95 seconds.
Perhaps, both Coleman and Gatlin were making a fitting statement, that the Bolt era has ended.
But Bolt has one more point to prove in the 4×100 metres relay on Saturday, before he goes into retirement.
Usain Bolt’s qualification for the 100 metres final was shaky.
To qualify, he was given a double scare by Coleman, who beat him in their semi, and the stadium scoreboard, which initially left him off the results.
The Jamaican, seeing his fourth gold in the event before retiring next week after the sprint relay, had a better start than in the heats but it was made to look awful by the explosion of Coleman.
The American, fastest man in the world this year with 9.92 seconds, poured on the pressure and crossed first in 9.97. Bolt had to work hard to close the gap.
He eased up only over the last few strides and though it was only a semi-final he will not be happy to have been beaten across the line in a 100m race for the first time in four years.
Bolt clocked 9.98 – the second-fastest time of the night – but initially Andrew Fisher of Bahrain was shown as second with Bolt not in the first six.