Usain Bolt suffered a rare 100 metres defeat when he was beaten by drugs cheat Justin Gatlin in Rome. The Olympic champion said he stumbled after making the ‘perfect start’ and could not catch Gatlin, who won bronze behind Bolt in the 100m in London. It was Bolt’s first defeat in a Diamond League 100m event since he was beaten by Tyson Gay in Stockholm in 2010, but he vowed he has time to get things right before the World Championships in Moscow in August.
The Jamaican said: ‘The one-offs are never for me. It’s all about the World Championships. I’ve got two months to get it right. ‘You learn more from losing. You can’t win every race in your career, I’ve learned that. ‘For me Rio will be biggest Games of my life. That’s where I’m going to make history if possible (by becoming) the three times Olympic (100m and 200m) champion, which has never been done. I want to go out there for my legend status. ‘For me, it’s just going through the season and putting things together for the World Championships. The season is still very early. I am not surprised. I have time – I’m not worried.’ Gatlin, who has twice tested positive for drugs and served a four-year ban, won in 9.94 seconds, with Bolt a hundredth of a second behind. The American, 31, had warned Bolt and Jamaica team-mate Yohan Blake to expect a ‘dogfight’ this season and lived up to his pre-race trash talk, while Bolt looked unusually tense after the drive phase, rocking in his lane and grimacing as he tried in vain to catch Gatlin. Gatlin said: ‘It felt good. It’s an honour to be able to race against him and compete against him. He’s an inspiration for the sport. He’s inspired me to be a better runner and a better entertainer for the fans. ‘I just want to be able to give him some competition when he’s at top form. He’s a legend and I want to go out and just fight for the end. Much respect.’ Bolt ran only 10.09 secs in his opening race in the Cayman Islands earlier this season, but had insisted before the race that he was fully fit after recovering from a minor hamstring injury. Afterwards, however, he admitted he ‘did not expect much from the race’ and added: ‘At least I ran under 10 seconds this time. My legs did not feel the energy. ‘I guess I need to be stronger at the end of the race. I think it just needs some time to get it all back together.’