Justin Gatlin felt he “gave away” the 100 metres gold medal to Usain Bolt after stumbling in Sunday’s final at the World Championships in Beijing.
The American sprinter went into the event as favourite after recording 9.77seconds in his semi-final earlier in the day, but he was pipped on the line by his Jamaican rival.
As the finish line approached they were neck and neck, but Gatlin lost his rhythm slightly and allowed defending champion Bolt to snatch victory by one-hundredth of a second.
“Really, I gave it away,” said Gatlin. “I stumbled in the last five metres, my arms [were] a little flailing.
“You have to come out and run and over the last five metres it wasn’t my day.
“He’s a gamer. He’s a showman. Anyone who goes to the line to go against Usain has to be ready to go to work. In those five metres I let things get away from me. It cost me the race.
“I leaned a little too far forward, and I got a little off balance.”