Two time Olympic 100-metre sprint champion Usain Bolt won his third world title in Beijing on Sunday, edging American Justin Gatlin. In a time of 9.79, Bolt, under great pressure to salvage a poor season, finished just 1/100th of a second up on Gatlin, who hadn’t lost in two years, a string of 28 races.
“It’s all about running the race and getting it done,” Bolt said.
In a surpise, young Canadian Andre De Grasse, 20, managed a bronze medal, along with American Trayvon Bromell; the two produced a rare photo-finish tie at 9.92, a personal best for De Grasse, running in his first world championship. De Grasse and Bolt had tied atop their semi-final heat a 9.96.
But this day was all about the Jamaican superstar, Bolt, who won just two days after his 29th birthday. The world record holder at 9:58 managed to return to the spotlight after a spotty season in which he has not been able to get results. He did not dominate Gatlin, 33, as some may have expected, but won despite heaps of pressure as he sought to reclaim his season and repeat as 100m world champion.
“This means a lot because I’ve been struggling all season, it’s taken me a while to work things out,” Bolt told the BBC. “It’s been up and down but it’s OK now.”