Champ beats Gatlin again for 4th 200m gold
Usain Bolt added another title to his long list with a dominant performance in the men's 200 metres final, at the IAAF World Championships here in Beijing, China, yesterday.
“When it comes to the 200,” Bolt declared, “I am a different person.”
His 100m triumph on Sunday was full of drama, the Jamaican beating American Justin Gatlin by just one-hundredth of a second. But the 200m was all about one man, the greatest sprinter of all time “Bolting” to victory in 19.55 seconds.
Though overshadowed by Bolt, Gatlin was impressive as well. He actually seemed to be launching a challenge, but halfway down the straight, the half-lap master pulled away from his rival. Bolt slowed as he crossed finish line and pointed to his chest.
“Why I really celebrated was Justin Gatlin said earlier in the week that he was going to bring out something special in the 200 metres, and I was like you don't talk about my 200 metres like that. I had to prove to him that I'm number one.”
Bolt made the point in emphatic fashion, the triple world record holder capturing his fourth straight World Championship 200m gold medal to go with his two Olympic titles in the event.
The 29-year-old Jamaican now has 10 gold medals at the World Champs. In addition to the 200 beaver-trick, he has earned three each in the 100m and 4x100m.
Counting his six Olympic gold medals, Bolt has now accumulated 16 senior global titles.
Gatlin has two world titles to his name. They were both earned at the 2005 Championships in Helsinki, Finland, where he captured the sprint double to follow up on his 100m gold at the 2004 Olympic Games.
Gatlin's three senior global titles were earned before Bolt seized control of the sprint world at the 2008 Olympics, right here at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing. At the time, Gatlin was in the middle of a four-year doping ban. Since the American's return to the sport in 2010, Bolt has prevented him from reaching the top of the podium at major global outdoor meets.
Yesterday, Gatlin picked up his fourth World Championship silver medal, getting home in 19.74 seconds to play second fiddle to Bolt.
“I'm the oldest man in the field and still running,” said 33-year-old Gatlin, “running pretty well. It feels good to go against this guy right here (Bolt). I'm just going to prepare myself for next year, for the Olympics, and come out even stronger.”
South Africa's Anaso Jobodwana produced a national record run of 19.87 seconds to secure bronze, just ahead of Panama's Alonso Edward, who was credited with the same time. Jobodwana edged Edward by two-thousandths of a second.
“Running against Bolt,” said Jobodwana, “always gives you some energy. You can feel the power. That elevates me.”
Seven years after wowing the world with the first of his two Olympic sprint trebles, Bolt continues to take his sport to higher levels.