The last seven days of athletics has been very dramatic after Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell withdrew from the World Athletics Championships after testing positive for banned substance.

A couple of days later, Usain Bolt's training partner and rival Yohan Blake also withdrew from the Championships due to a hamstring injury.

You could say that the 100 metre gold medal may as well be round Bolt's neck before the competition has even started. Unfortunately for the Jamaican,  he'll have to win the race before that can happen.

So, three big rivals will not be competing for the world title this year, which means only one thing. There's plenty of opportunity for lower ranked sprinters to reach the final and make a name for themselves.

Let's not forget last year's Olympic 100m bronze medallist, Justin Gatlin, who crossed the finish line before his fellow American, Tyson Gay, by 0.01 seconds.

Looking at the possible sprinters that can make the final at this moment in time, Gatlin seems to be the only one with a chance of causing an upset. 

The last time Gatlin won gold at the World Championships was eight years ago in Helsinki and also won gold in the 200m to add to his collection. 

So, it was nearly a decade ago since we saw the glory days of Justin Gatlin but the 31-year-old has experienced it.

Another sprinter who may spoil Bolt's party in Moscow is American sprinter, Ryan Bailey.

Bailey made his Olympic debut at the age of 23 in London 2012 and qualified for the 100m final but finished 5th place out of the 8 competing.

Next month's World Championship will be Bailey's debut and would be a fantastic achievement if the American can at least finish in the medal zone. The battle between Gatlin and Bailey will be to see who is the fastest American on the track with Gay out of the picture.

This year's 100m final is going to be interesting to watch and as always the populist event of athletics.

But with the likes of Gay, Powell and Blake not competing, is this year's final going to be the easiest one yet for Usain Bolt?

Well, you never know. We could see a late twist, which could change everything, especially after the 2011 100m final in Daegu, which saw Bolt face disqualification.


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Topics:
Yohan Blake
Athletics
Tyson Gay
Usain Bolt