Usain Bolt produces stunning performance to upset Justin Gatlin in 100m final

Usain Bolt upset the form book to defend his World Championship 100m title with a dramatic win over hot favourite Justin Gatlin in the final at the Bird Nest’s Stadium in Beijing.

100m men final – Eurosport
Jamaica’s world record holder ended Gatlin’s unbeaten run that had stretched over 28 races with a winning time of 9.79seconds – a season’s best for a man who had been plagued by injury and lack of consistency entering Beijing.

American’s Trayvon Bromell claimed bronze with a time of 9.92 seconds.

Gatlin was a 2/5 favourite for the title with Bolt drifting to 9/4 after the semi-finals, but the Olympic champion used all his reserves of power and strength to hunt down Gatlin despite getting off to a slower start in the final.

He admitted he had toiled to get the proper spring from the starting blocks, but his natural sprinting talent saw him through.

“This means a lot because I’ve been struggling all season,” said Bolt. “It’s taken me a while to work things out. It’s been up and down but it’s okay now.”

Bolt will be a popular winner of the world title for a third time coming against Galtin, a figure who has twice served a drugs ban despite winning the 100m Olympic title himself in 2004.

“I understand why (people wanted me to win), but I wanted to do it for myself,” said Bolt. “It is a big deal.”

Bolt won the race on the line with a frantic dip after reeling in the American in the closing 30 metres of a tension-packed race.

Usain Bolt of Jamaica (2nd R) crosses the finsih line ahead of Justin Gatlin of the U.S. (2nd L) to win the men's 100 metres final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 23, 2015.
Usain Bolt of Jamaica (2nd R) crosses the finsih line ahead of Justin Gatlin of the U.S. (2nd L) to win the men’s 100 metres final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 23, 2015. – Reuters

Bolt had been unfancied to claim victory after struggling with injuries over the past year with Gatlin entering the race as the man in form with the best times and an air of confidence.

The defending world champion Bolt was left shaking his head in the semi-finals after powering back from his early shock of almost stumbling and falling to reach the final alongside Andre De Grasse of Canada, who clocked the same time.

Gatlin appeared to run well within himself in producing a run of 9.77 in the second semi-final to justify his standing with the bookmakers, but lost form at the vital time in the final in finishing second in 9.80secs.

It appeared only his to lose, and he did. Not that he can expect much sympathy from fans of the sport.