No matter the race or time of year, it’s always a shocker when the fastest man in the world is bested by a runner. That’s exactly what happened yesterday evening in Rome at the Golden Gala races 100 meter. After the gun went off, it appeared Usain Bolt would cruise to another first place finish. But, Justin Gatlin, USA, turned on the speed to come from behind and finish .01 of a second ahead of Bolt. The Jamaican sprinter finished in 9.95 seconds. Gatlin finished in 9.94.
After the race, Bolt, who’s been struggling with a hamstring injury, accepted defeat. Instead of blaming his poor finish on his injury, Bolt said, “That was ridiculous – a perfect start and then I just cropped off.” He also added, “Now I just need to go back and watch the tape and see what went wrong and what I need to work on and compete better next time. … The fact that I lost this race is a good thing.”
Uhoh, added motivation for Bolt is the last thing his competition wants to hear. But barely winning his first 100 in the Cayman Islands about a month ago, and then coming up short against Gatlin, does suggest that Bolt needs to fine tune a few things. His next major test will be at the world championships in Moscow in August. The track season is just heating up, but the pressure is already on Bolt to prove he’s still the one to beat. How will he respond?