Justin Gatlin fails to qualify for 200m final

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It's pretty safe to say Justin Gatlin doesn't have many fans outside of America.

The American sprinter has served two bans after testing positive for banned substances and the general public have never really forgiven him for it.

Nevertheless, Gatlin has been fighting it out for medal honours ever since his return. So when he surprisingly missed out on a spot in the 200m final of the Rio Olympics, there was quite a reaction.

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While big rival Usain Bolt cruised through his semi-final, Gatlin could only manage a third-place finish despite being a heavy favourite to easily qualify.

A decent start to the race was ruined after the mid-way point as the 34-year-old lost focus and appeared to look across the track at his chasing competitors.

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Gatlin's time of 20.13 seconds wasn't enough for him to go through as one of the fastest losers and he joined Jamaican Yohan Blake as the two big absentees from Thursday's final.

After the race, the American revealed an ankle injury had severely affected his performance.

Gatlin said: "Come off the turn, and felt pain in the last 20 meters. I looked over and I tried to hold on as long as I could.

"My ankle is giving me a lot of problems. I can't run properly and I had a tight turn in lane three."

However, his injury claims have not gone very well and a lot of people voiced their disbelief on Twitter:

Although now aged 34, Gatlin didn't rule out continuing beyond the Rio Games, with the 2020 Olympics being hosted by Japan in Tokyo.

He added: "From this point on I'm taking it year by year.

"I'm going to come out as strong as I can for each year. Someone like a Kim Collins gives me inspiration for Tokyo."

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Tyson Gay
Team USA Olympics
Justin Gatlin
Commonwealth Games
Usain Bolt
Yohan Blake
Mo Farah

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