Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 1°C
Usain Bolt celebrates victory in Beijing.
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Bolt accepts importance of victory over Gatlin
“It definitely means a lot; I’ve been struggling all season to figure what the problem was.”

USAIN BOLT ACKNOWLEDGED it was a “big deal” to claim 100 metres gold at the World Championships on Sunday but stated his desire to win for himself rather than for the good of athletics.

Bolt ran a time of 9.79 seconds in Beijing to clinch victory ahead of Gatlin — the American who has served two doping bans during his career.

Prior to a victory that will be celebrated by many, due to Gatlin’s past, six-time Olympic champion Bolt had played down the narrative at the heart of the contest, which had seen him cast in the role of athletics’ potential saviour.

And after securing his third 100m title at a World Championships, Bolt again played down the notion he had registered a victory for his sport.

The Jamaican told BBC Sport: “For me I understand why [people think that] but I wanted to do it for myself. It was a big deal obviously.

“It definitely means a lot; I’ve been struggling all season to figure what the problem was. I’m just happy.

“It’s just been up and down, I stumbled a little bit [in the semi-finals] but when I tripped I just thought continue to drive and the rest will be okay.”

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Gatlin had looked much more comfortable than Bolt in the semi-finals, recording a time of 9.77secs to his rival’s 9.96.

Yet when it mattered most, Gatlin was ultimately found wanting as he crossed the line a hundredth of a second behind Bolt.

Usain Bolt beats Justin Gatlin by a nose in thrilling World Championship 100m final>

English, Barr and more big names tumble out at semi-final stage>