Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter widely considered the fastest human in the world, just got beaten… in his final race.
The 30-year-old has dominated the sport for a decade and in his final 100-meter race, Bolt was beaten by an American almost five years his senior: Justin Gatlin.
It was a tight finish though. Bolt got off to slow start and Gatlin dug deep to notch a 9.92 seconds time. Christian Coleman took silver in 9.94 seconds, and Bolt got bronze in 9.95.
“My start is killing me,” Bolt said. “Normally it gets better during the rounds, but it didn’t come together.”
Gatlin paid his respects to Bolt for his contribution to the sport, bowing in admiration in front of him — even after beating him. They also embraced… but not before he roared and put his finger off his mouth, as to silence the crowd. “It’s just so surreal right now. Usain has accomplished so much in our sport and inspired others,” Gatlin said
For Gatlin, its been a amazing turnaround in his career. He was the Olympic champion in 2004 before Bolt won an unprecedented three straight 100-meter titles at the Olympics. His career was tainted with two doping suspensions.
“It was almost like 2004 all over again,” Gatlin said. “I won by a little margin, and to be able to come across the line is amazing.”