Usain Bolt Loses to Justin Gatlin

Said he just wasn’t himself

    Photo: emre.kocali.18 via Flickr

Ironically, it was an uncharacteristically fast start that slowed down the seemingly unbeatable Usain Bolt in yesterday’s Rome Diamond League 100 meters. His 9.95-second time brought him a second-place finish behind American Justin Gatlin, marking his first significant loss since 2011. 

Bolt took the loss in stride, saying that his perfect start threw him off. “That was ridiculous,” he said. “I have to do more strength work, I guess. At the end it was just not me." After a brief moment of disappointment, Bolt shook Gatlin’s hand.

Gatlin himself was banned from competition from 2006 to 2010 after he tested positive for doping, and had been trash-talking Bolt before the race. But at the finish line he kept his celebrations restrained.

Watch them face off—and finish just a hundredth of a second apart:

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