Usain Bolt will head into the 2016 Summer Olympics with the title of ’15 world champion after defeating American Justin Gatlin with a 9.79-second victory in the men’s 100-meter final at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. Gatlin took second in 9.80. NCAA stars Trayvon Bromell of USA and Andre De Grasse of Canada tied for bronze in 9.911.
Bolt has won three of the last four world-championship titles in the 100-meter dash. He is the third man after Carl Lewis (1983, ’87 and ’91) and Maurice Greene (1997, ’99 and 2001) to win three world-championship titles.
Bolt’s reaction time of .159 seconds was faster than Gatlin’s .165 seconds. Gatlin appeared to have the race won with about 20 meters remaining before his form fell apart and Bolt capitalized.
“Everyone wants to win,” Gatlin said after the race. “I came out here and got nipped at the line by the great Usain.”
An American has finished second in each of the last four world championships.
Bolt extended his longest winning streak by days, which dates back to June 2013. In that span of time, Bolt won gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash at the 2013 IAAF World Championships but missed most of the ’14 campaign with a foot injury. Bolt scratched from a few meets this July after suffering a blocked sacroiliac joint injury.
Gatlin was handed his first loss since Sept. 6, 2013. The American lost to Bolt in the 100-meter final at the 2013 world championships in Moscow, but defeated the Jamaican star in their previous meeting at the Rome Diamond League Meeting that June.
Bolt, 29, reached the finals after nearly falling out of the blocks in the semifinal but recovering to win his section in 9.96 seconds. Gatlin posted the fastest time of the semifinal with his 9.77.
Next summer, Bolt looks to defend his Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter dash against Gatlin in Rio de Janeiro. Gatlin won gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics before serving a doping ban for “testosterone or its precursors” from 2006 to ’10.
Other notables from Day 2 of the world championships:
Women’s Heptathlon: 13 months after giving birth, Great Britain’s Jessica Ennis-Hill won her first world championship gold medal since winning the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Fellow British star Katarina Johnson-Thompson, 22, was in position for a silver-medal finish but fouled out of the long jump without recording a mark. Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton took silver. Laura Ikauniece-Admidiņa finished third for bronze.
Men’s shot put: Joe Kovacs won the United States’s first gold medal of the championships with a 21.93-meter throw. David Storl of Germany threw 21.74 meters for silver. O’Dayne Richards of Jamaica surprised the field with a national record throw of 21.69 for bronze. The United States men have made the world championship podium in 11 of the last 12 years.
Men’s 400-meter hurdles: The United States and the world’s two fastest men of 2015, Bershawn Jackson and Johnny Dutch, failed to make the final. American medal hopes rest in the hands of Olympic silver medalist Michael Tinsley and Kerron Clement. Olympic bronze medalist Javier Culson of Puerto Rico also failed to advance.
Men’s 800-meter run: World-record holder David Rudisha of Kenya looks to be in position to capture his second gold medal at the world championships after defending champion Mo Aman of Ethiopia was disqualified for a shove in the semifinal. Americans Erik Sowinski and Clayton Murphy, who replaced U.S. 800-meter champion Nick Symmonds, failed to advance to the final. 2015 will be the first time since ’07 that no American has reached the world-championship final. A silver medalist two years ago, Symmonds was the American representation in the 2009, ’11 and ’13 (along with Duane Solomon) finals.
Women’s 100-meter dash: All four American women advanced to the semifinals. The fastest times of the round were recorded by USA’s Tori Bowie and Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in 10.88 seconds.
Men’s 400-meter dash: All four American men advanced to the semifinals. The fastest time of the round were recorded by Saudi Arabia’s Yousef Ahmed Masrahi and Jamaica’s Rusheen McDonald in 43.93.
Women’s 400-meter hurdles: All three American women moved onto the semifinals. USA’s Cassandra Tate ran the fastest time of all competitors with a 54.27-second performance in the third section.