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Usain Bolt wins 100 meters at rainy World Track and Field Championships

Aug 11, 2013, 1:55 PM EDT

Usain Bolt weathered steady rain and Justin Gatlin to take back the world title in the 100 meters on Sunday, crossing the finish as lightning reportedly struck in Moscow.

Bolt, the six-time Olympic champion, won in 9.77 seconds with a slight headwind, his slowest time ever in a major championship final but his fastest time this year. Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, took silver in 9.85 seconds. Jamaican Nesta Carter earned bronze in 9.95 seconds (scroll down for full results).

Gatlin was better than Bolt in the early going, no surprise, but Bolt took control around 50 meters and ran hard through the finish for the clear win. He and Gatlin, who have traded words in the media, shook hands after.

Bolt was his usual playful self in the introductions, making hand gestures like he was holding a fake umbrella at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, site of the 1980 Olympic Games.

Bolt’s margin of victory, .08, marked his closest 100 final at a worlds or Olympics.

Bolt, 26, won the 2008 Olympics in 9.69 seconds (.20 margin), then a world record, the 2009 worlds in 9.58 seconds (.13 margin), a world record, and the 2012 Olympics in 9.63 seconds (.12 margin), an Olympic record. He was disqualified from the 2011 worlds final after a false start.

The event was missing the American record holder, Tyson Gay, out after failing drug tests in the spring. Also absent was Olympic silver medalist Yohan Blake, suffering from a hamstring injury.

That left Gatlin, who beat Bolt in a race in Rome in June, as the only man who could possibly challenge Bolt. Bolt had looked quite beatable early in the season and wasn’t too impressive in his first round and semifinal races, either.

But as we’ve seen for years, the Jamaican knows how to turn it on in major finals. Here are his comments to NBC after the race:

Bolt next takes on the 200 meters with heats and semifinals Friday and the final Saturday. He’s the two-time defending world champion in the event and an even bigger favorite there than he was in the 100.

Bolt’s biggest competition in the 200 is another Jamaican, Olympic bronze medalist Warren Weir. Again, Gay and Blake would have been medal contenders there. Gatlin is not entered in the 200.

If Bolt wins three golds in Moscow (100, 200, 4×100 relay), he will tie Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson with the most career world titles by a man with eight. If he wins three medals of any color, he will tie Lewis for most world medals won by a man (10).

Men’s 100 Final
Gold: Usain Bolt (JAM) 9.77
Silver: Justin Gatlin (USA) 9.85
Bronze: Nesta Carter (JAM) 9.95
4. Kemar Bailey-Cole (JAM) 9.98
5. Nickel Ashmeade (JAM) 9.98
6. Mike Rodgers (USA) 10.04
7. Christophe Lemaitre (FRA) 10.06
8. James Dasaolu (GBR) 10.21

Track worlds broadcast schedule

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  1. Michigoose - Aug 11, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    I haven’t been able to get a single video on this site (World Championships) to load in the last two days.

  2. jimeejohnson - Aug 11, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Bolt is the fastest man in the world. His mastery of the 200m as well as the 100m makes him one of the top sprinters, ever.

  3. wallkenn - Aug 11, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    ‘Extremely close call for Bolt!” Come on, what race were you watching? Bolt’s time is 9.77secs to Gatlin’s 9.85 secs. I think you are very DRAMATIC AND BIAS FOR A REPORTER

  4. blubrd67 - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    This is not extremely close call. I’ve been in track and fields all my life since early childhood, and the difference between 9.77 and 9.85 is somewhat close but significant enough that you can’t call it “extremely close.” 2-3 hundreds of a second maybe, but almost tenth of a second in a major competition on 100 m is substantial.

  5. cutelittleguy02 - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    I hope he is not on drugs or gay.

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