During the IAAF World Championships this August, American sprinter Justin Gatlin took first place in the 100m event, beating sprint phenom Usain Bolt. Gatlin came from behind to finish in 9.92 seconds with team USA sprinter Christian Coleman in second place at 9.94 seconds and Bolt was third with 9.95 seconds.
Bolt has stirred the Track and Field scene since his Olympic debut in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Since then, he has collected nine gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m in three Olympic games.
Prior to the Bolt era, Gatlin was considered the fastest man in the world during the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics and won a gold medal in the 100m dash. His 9.85-second run was the third fastest in Olympic history. Gatlin also earned a bronze medal for the 200m and a silver for the 4x100m.
Gatlin also won gold for the 100m at the 2005 World Championships. In 2006, he tested positive for a banned steroid testosterone and was banned for eight years; the sentence was reduced to four years in 2007.
While Gatlin has years of professional experience, Coleman started his pro career at the 2017 World Games. The Tennessee Volunteer won the 2017 indoor national championship for the 60m and the 200m event; he also is the 2017 NCAA champion in the 100m and 200m. Gatlin is the only other Tennessee Vol to accomplish the feat.
Although Coleman is a pro athlete, he wants to continue his studies at Tennessee.
Bolt’s third place performance sent shockwaves throughout the world, even days after the heat. The IAAF World Championships are the coronation of Bolt’s career, he planned to retire after the competition.
Gatlin’s victory over Bolt was not embraced well by the fans present for the Championships. When announced at heats, spectators booed Gatlin.
Despite winning the heat, Gatlin took a knee to show his respect for Bolt.