Athletics

Justin Gatlin, Usain Bolt.

Justin Gatlin reveals what Usain Bolt told him after losing his final ever 100m race

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Usain Bolt's last ever 100 metre races in London were meant to be something special, a celebration of a glorious career.

Until Christian Coleman pipped him over the line in semi-finals, Bolt had not lost a race since 2013.

But, the semi-final would only be a taster for what was to come. Coleman and fellow countryman Justin Gatlin would both finish above Bolt in his final ever 100m race and confine him to a bronze medal at the World Championships.

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For a man who has won eight gold medals, holds the world records for 100m and 200m, and hadn't lost in four years, it's a crying shame he went out that way.

Particularly in some eyes, losing to a man he has dominated for over a decade and has failed drugs tests twice.

Gatlin was booed roundly by the London crowd because of that fact - even after he won. Despite all of that, Gatlin revealed what a beaten Bolt said to him after the race.

"The first thing he said to me was 'congratulations, you worked hard for this,'" Gatlin explained.

"And he said 'you don't deserve these boos' and I thanked him for that. I thanked him for inspiring me throughout my career. He's an amazing man."

That's true class from a bonafide legend of athletics. No man has ever taken athletics to the heights that Bolt has and the sport is worse off without him.

Yet, he didn't always have kind words for Gatlin. Just last year Bolt was bemoaning the fact that the American was even considered his rival.

16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 - Day Two

“The one thing that always annoys me is when [American sprinter and great rival] Justin Gatlin always says, ‘Oh, I’m going to beat Usain Bolt, blah, blah, blah.’ I’m like, why don’t interviewers ask him, why should we believe you?

"I really want an interviewer, one day, to ask him that question – to say, ‘You guys have got up 10 times, you’ve won one of them. Give me a good reason why we should write that Gatlin’s going to beat Usain Bolt?’ People should call you out on it. But if you are actually the best, then I feel as long as you don’t overdo it, it’s fine.”

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Topics:
Justin Gatlin
Usain Bolt
Commonwealth Games
World Championships
Olympics
Athletics
Yohan Blake

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