Athletics

Bolt out of the blue

Jamaican could only finish third in final 100m race but says he has no regrets as it is the right 'time to go'

Usain Bolt insisted that he had no regrets after Justin Gatlin gatecrashed his farewell in the 100 metres final at the World Championships in London yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Jamaican was forced to settle for third in his final solo race at the London Stadium after also being beaten by American youngster Christian Coleman.

The 35-year-old Gatlin - booed throughout after his previous doping violations - won a highly-charged race in 9.92 seconds, with Coleman completing an American one-two in 9.94sec and Bolt crossing the line in 9.95sec.

It shocked the crowd, who had come to see Bolt sign off in style as he prepares to retire at the end of the championships but the eight-time Olympic champion insisted that the defeat changes nothing.

"No regrets. I came out and did my best, I was always (ready) to end no matter what happened - win, lose or draw, I was always going to walk away," said the 30-year-old.

"It doesn't change anything in my career, I have done everything I can do for the sport and for myself. It's time to go.

"I lost the race to a great competitor, I came third to a young kid coming up - he has a great future ahead of him.

"No matter what happened this season, I was going to come out and do my best. I did it for the fans, they really wanted me to do one more season.

"I worked hard, I'm definitely disappointed. No one is going to be happy they didn't win, but I knew I gave my all."

Bolt was aiming to claim a fourth 100m world title after victories in Berlin, Moscow and Beijing, but had another shocking start.

He again failed to get going after having poor starts in his heat and semi-final - fiercely criticising the blocks after Friday night's heat.

The IAAF had dismissed his complaints, insisting the blocks are the same model as those used in Beijing two years ago.

Bolt recovered in the second half of the race again, but could not bring in Gatlin or Coleman - the fastest man in the world this year going into his first international championships.

"I ran the semi-finals with Coleman, and I knew if I didn't get my start, I was going to be in trouble," Bolt said.

“He was grimacing... you will not find that look in all the archives of Usain Bolt.”Four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson on Usain Bolt’s final 100m race

"When I left the blocks, I was like 'ahhh'. I knew I had to try so I came out and tried my best, but it wasn't good enough.

"I don't know what to say about my start, this is the first time in a championships I've... been so poor. My reaction was 0.183. It shows I was way off."

The result was not immediately clear, with the crowd waiting to see the scoreboard but, when it showed the standings, it left the London Stadium in stunned silence before they began to chant Bolt's name as Gatlin celebrated and was in tears on the track.

Gatlin's celebrations were a sideshow as Bolt still took the plaudits and did a lap of honour, still playing to the crowd when the stadium was emptying.

The American was the pantomime villain throughout the competition, having previously been banned for doping violations in 2001 and 2006.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe admitted that it was "not the perfect script" for Gatlin to triumph on what many hoped would be Bolt's night.

Coe said: "I'm hardly going to sit here and tell you I'm eulogistic that somebody that has served two bans in our sport would walk off with one of our glittering prizes, but he is eligible to be here." - PA SPORT

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