Gatlin Edges Bolt by 0.01secs in a Close Race at the Rome Golden Gala.

Usain Bolt.
Usain Bolt.

Olympic bronze medalist Justin Gatlin upset 6-time gold medalist Usain Bolt, edging him by 0.01 seconds in a very close 100m race at the Diamond League Rome Golden Gala meet.

Gatlin finished the race in 9.94secs as the Jamaican’s poor start to the season continued, finishing 9.95sec. European indoor champion Jimmy Vicault from France finished third equaling his personal best of 10.02secs to edge US Michael Rodgers to fourth place (10.04secs).

Gatlin is unbeaten this season in a four-meet unbeaten streak that saw him record victories in Doha (9.97secs), Beijing (9.91secs seasonal best), Eugene (wind-assisted 9.88secs), and broke Bolt’s winning streak in Rome after two consecutive wins for the Jamaican in 2011 (9.91secs) and 2012 (9.76secs meeting record.)

Nevertheless, the London Olympic gold medalist settled for a new seasonal best which improved on his previous 10.09secs set in George Town (Cayman Island.)

It was Bolt’s first loss since last year’s Jamaican Trials in Kingston, but he was humble in defeat.

“I had a good competition. I had a nice start, I had a good race and then I just cropped off,” Bolt said.

“I think it was this perfect start that threw my game off. I will now seat down with my coach, watch the video of the race and figure out what went wrong and on what aspect I have to work.

“I have to do more strength work. I think it needs just some time to get it all back together. My legs did not feel the energy. I felt a little sore but it is not a problem. The rest of the race was not too bad,” he added.

After the cancellation of two of Gatlin’s flights following his wind-assisted 9.88secs win last Saturday in Oregon, the American didn’t show any sign of fatigue.

“I came from a very long season in 2012. I got my start back and I worked on the final part of the race,” the Olympic bronze medalist said.

“You know that Bolt is a great competitor. It feels good and now I am putting things together. It is also about putting a show together for the fans and provided a great performance.

“In the last couple of years people were used to times around 9.7 to beat the rest. But it is all about who crosses the line first.”


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