Usain Bolt’s stunning victory over Justin Gatlin in the 100m men’s final of the IAAF World Championships has been hailed as a great achievement by several former star athletes who spoke with the BBC.
Bolt struggled to get to the final but produced a brilliant performance to beat the favourite Gatlin by a hundredth of a second -9.79 seconds to 9.80 seconds – to claim his third Worlds 100m individual gold.
Eight-time world champion and world record holder in the 400m Michael Johnson said: “Usain Bolt was challenged here more than he has been at any time during his career. Put on top of that the burden of ‘saving the sport’ which was placed on his shoulders, it means that the pressure was there. I have to give him so much credit for that performance.”
BBC Sport commentator and former star athlete Steve Cram added: “Usain Bolt will walk away from tonight so proud of himself, and that’s from someone who has so much to be proud of during his career. This may well have been his finest day.”
Former world hurdles champion Colin Jackson said: “Justin Gatlin will kick himself because he will never, ever get a better chance to beat Usain Bolt. It didn’t take the best performance from Bolt to do the business, but he delivered when he needed to. Victory goes to the right person for me.”
Former world 100m bronze medallist Darren Campbell added: “We said there was always hope for Bolt and that was the case because Gatlin was very nervous. Gatlin’s time of 9.77 in the semi-final would have been enough to win the final, but he couldn’t open the lead he needed and Bolt came through. Talk about a hero – we’ve witnessed greatness.”
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