Usain Bolt revels in 'hardest ever' victory as star chills out in ice bath after claiming 100m title at World Championships

  • Usain Bolt won the 100m title at the World Championships
  • The 29-year-old clocked a time of  9.79 seconds
  • Bolt's victory over twice-banned drugs cheat Justin Gatlin will have brought a sigh of relief from many fans concerned with athletics' reputation 

Usain Bolt described his World Championships 100m gold medal winning race as the ‘hardest ever’ as he was hailed a hero for triumphing in a battle of good versus evil against twice drugs cheat Justin Gatlin.

In 9.79sec on the famously quick track in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium, the Jamaican ended Gatlin’s 29 race unbeaten run and struck a blow for clean athletes battling against dopers who plague the sport.

‘I’ve shown the world that it is possible to do it clean,’ he said, ‘I’ve always pushed myself. For me, it’s just about hard work and dedication. I’ve been doing it for years. Just focus and work hard.’

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Usain Bolt celebrates his victory in the 100m at the World Championships in Beijing with a post-race bath

Bolt's victory is an achievement for the whole of athletics to savour amid several doping scandals 

Bolt clocked a time of 9.79 seconds at the Bird's Nest Stadium to win his 10th individual global title

Bolt clocked a time of 9.79 seconds at the Bird's Nest Stadium to win his 10th individual global title

Bolt crosses the line ahead of rival Gatlin (second left) in the highly-anticipated 100m race

Bolt crosses the finish line ahead of rival Justin Gatlin (second left) in the highly anticipated race 

Bolt beat Gatlin, who tops the world rankings over both the 100m and 200m, by just one hundredth of a second with the American leaning for the line prematurely.

Earlier in the evening, it had looked likely that a nightmare scenario for the sport’s already tarnished image would transpire. 

Gatlin, who returned from a four year ban for steroids in 2011 is running quicker than ever at 33-years-old, was the quickest qualifier from the heats and ran 9.77sec in the semi-final easing down. Meanwhile, Bolt had almost suffered an early exit after stumbling out of the blocks.

But the Jamaican got a clean start in the final and immediately put pressure on Gatlin. ‘I never doubt myself,’ said Bolt, ‘I know my ability. It wasn’t a perfect race but I got it done. I definitely think this was my hardest race. I’ ve been through a lot this season, it’s been rough and Justin been running great showing up running fast times. I knew it wouldn’t be easy.’

Beset by injury problems since spring 2014 when he had surgery on his foot, Bolt did not properly begin his season until June this year and has had to rely on the expertise of German celebrity doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt – nicknamed Healing Hans – to nurse him back to fitness.

‘Dr Muller has been a lifesaver many times,’ said Bolt, ‘I had joint problems so he had to get them loose, they were locked up. It’s about getting old and I’ d been wearing the wrong shoes. We got the right shoes for me to run in, took our time, got everything done and did some different stretches, it was great and I’m happy to have a doctor like him.’ 

 Bolt (right) has said of Gatlin: '(He) has been running great all season so I do not expect him to not compete'

 Bolt (right) hugs Gatlin after defeating him in the 100m final at the World Championships on Sunday

Bolt struck his signature 'lightning bolt' pose after winning the race at Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium

Bolt struck his signature 'lightning bolt' pose after winning the race in Beijing 

Ed Warner, the Chairman of UK Athletics, the sport’s governing body in Great Britain, said he had been cheering the Jamaican. ‘One can overdramatise these things but if you felt the impact in the stadium of Bolt's win, you'll understand just how much every athletics fan really wanted Bolt to win.

‘They wanted it for all sorts of reasons, including the triumph of a clean athlete over someone who had been banned twice for serious doping offences. It is important because we all want a clean sport, we all stand for a clean sport and Bolt represents all the best of athletics. I wanted Bolt to win, I'm not going to shy away from that.’

The pair go head to head again in the 200m with the opening round on Wednesday. ‘I’m looking forward to it as it’s my favourite event and something I want more than the 100m,’ said Bolt, ‘But I’m not expecting anything less from Justin.’

Bolt is embraced by his mother Jennifer after claiming arguably his most impressive victory on Sunday

Bolt is embraced by his mother Jennifer after claiming arguably his most impressive victory on Sunday





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