Justin Gatlin Takes Silver in 100m; Bolt Gold
While Usain Bolt was running to gold, cementing his legacy as the single greatest sprinter of all-time, Justin Gatlin of the Bronx was laboring to a silver medal, just a split second behind him.
In what is more than likely the final 100m chapter in the Gatlin-Bolt rivalry, Gatlin got out to a huge lead on Bolt in the rest of the field. However, Bolt overcame his rather sluggish start to dominate later in the race, taking home the gold for a record setting third straight time. Gatlin finished with a time of 9.89, just .08 seconds behind the gold medal.
The medal was Gatlin’s fifth in the Olympics, with the gold, silver in the relay, and a bronze in the 200m in Athens, and a bronze in the 100m in London. He will go down as one of the greatest sprinters of all-time, although his achievements will be greatly overshadowed when compared to Usain Bolt, as well as fellow American Tyson Gay, who will go down as the second fastest human in history. However, Gatlin’s record will be slightly tarnished, despite posting the sixth fastest time in history.
Gatlin has taken a lot of flack regarding his drug suspension following the Athens games, as well as serving a suspension in 2001. Gold medalist swimmer and Team USA teammate Lily King even called him out, when she recommended that everyone who had ever tested positive for any drug shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the Olympics.
However, he has argued that he has passed all tests imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency, making him completely clean. Even more flags have been raised as he sets personal bests at an age where most sprinters are long retired, but he has been cleared, and was able to compete yet again.
The two will likely square off two more times in Rio before Bolt retires, and Gatlin more than likely joins him. The 200m will be their final individual race, while they will also be part of opposing 4X100m relay teams, where Bolt will try to go a perfect six for six in Olympic finals, an unprecedented feat.