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PROTRACK » International Results & News » Justin Gatlin beats Powell and says it was better than Bolt's opener

Justin Gatlin beats Powell and says it was better than Bolt's opener

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Banned sprinter Justin Gatlin wins 100m final in Qatar

By Luke Phillips
The Sunday Telegraph
May 13, 2012

Back on track: Justin Gatlin (L) and Asafa Powell compete in the men's 100m at the IAAF Diamond League in Qatar.
Picture: Karim Jaafar. Source: AFP

JUSTIN Gatlin continued his remarkable rehabilitation from a four-year drug ban with a blistering 9.87sec to win the 100m at the opening leg of the 14-meet Diamond League yesterday morning in Qatar.

Allyson Felix produced a stunning upset in the women's 100m, the American three-time world 200m champion clocking 10.92sec to beat Jamaican rivals Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. "It was very good to get one over Campbell-Brown, especially in the 100m," beamed Felix, who enjoys the remarkable record of never having lost in Doha in eight appearances.

Felix's compatriot LaShawn Merritt, the Olympic champion who served a 21-month doping ban, bagged the 400m in 44.19sec, while fellow American Walter Dix, the double world silver sprint medallist, wrapped up the 200m in 20.02sec.

But it was 2004 Olympic 100m gold medallist Gatlin who hogged the early limelight after he pipped Asafa Powell by a head and insisted he had the top of the podium in London firmly in his sights.

Powell, Jamaica's former world record-holder, made a flying start but Gatlin stuck with him and came through at the end.

"You've got to take track and field as a soap opera with spikes on," Gatlin said of his return to the circuit amid a mixed welcome back from fans and pundits.

"Everybody wants to see great competition. They've watched the Usain Bolt show for a couple of years.

"They want to see someone else in the mix and I'm happy to step up and be in the mix as well.

"I want everyone to know Justin Gatlin is back and I want the Olympic title."

In temperatures above 35C and high humidity, David Rudisha then led a strong Kenyan contingent to a series of top-notch middle-distance performances that even deprived star Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele of a winning start to the season.

Bekele laboured to seventh in a race dominated by Kenyan duo Augustine Choge and Eliud Kipchoge.

Bekele, coming back from two years of nagging calf and knee injuries and admittedly training at under 100 per cent, was quick to blame his stop-start training regimen.

Last edited by Admin on Mon May 14, 2012 8:27 am; edited 1 time in total



Justin Gatlin: My 9.87secs better than Bolt and Blake’s openers

By Gary Smith,
Track and Field Contributor
May 12 2012

DOHA (Sporting Alert) — American sprinter Justin Gatlin returned to top form with a sizzling run in Doha and then took a dig at his Jamaican rivals Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake on Friday.

Gatlin, who recently returned from a four year ban – clocked 9.87 seconds to win the 100 metres dash at the Doha Diamond League meeting – a time which is the third fastest in the world this year.

Only world record holder Bolt, who has a seasonal best of 9.82 seconds and world champion Blake’s 9.84secs have gone quicker, legally, than Gatlin this season, but the American said his performance Friday night is better.

“They were at home while I’m far away from home,” Gatlin told reporters after his win.

“I’ve proved I can run very well anywhere.”

The 2004 Olympic 100m champion didn’t get off to the best of starts, but once again showed his top end speed over the final 40-metres to pull even with Jamaican former world record holder Asafa Powell and then out-leaned him at the tape.

He commented: “Races like these show who’s a competitor and who’s just a runner. I like coming out here and competing.

“Even if Asafa is better than me in the middle phase, I’m going to come back some time at the end and get him.”

It will be interesting to see the American championships where Gatlin will face the likes of American record holder Tyson Gay and the ever reliable Walter Dix.

Bolt holds the world record over the 100m at 9.58secs, which he set at the 2009 Berlin World Championships.

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