MOSCOW - Men's 100 meters: The race had everything by ELLIOTT DENMAN

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UsainBoltFH1-World13.JPg
Usain Bolt wins the 100 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net
MOSCOW - The race had everything.
by ELLIOTT DENMAN

Even real-world lightning to go along with the presence of the sport's real-life Lightning Bolt.
 
And what a sizzler it was, this men's 100-meter final living up to all its hype on the second night of the 14th World Championships of Track and Field.
 
Running in lane six:Jamaica's Usain Bolt, the face of the World Championships as well as the whole sport - but not running as the face of the defending champion.
 
Remember Daegu 2011, when a Bolt starting-block flinch led to the false-start DQ that stunned civilization?  That saw Jamaica's Yohan Blake bolt to a 9.92 triumph over the shockingly Bolt-less field?
 
Running in lane five: USA's Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion, who remarkably weathered a four-year banishment to return to the sport faster than ever, the 2012 London Olympic bronze medalist.
 
Lanes two and three: France's James Dasaolu and Christophe Lemaitre.  Lane four: Jamaica's Nickel Ashmeade.  Lanes seven and eight: Jamaica's Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nesta Carter. Lane nine: USA's Mike Rodgers.
 
Ashmeade was quickest out of the blocks but Gatlin was quick to haul him in.
 
With Luzhniki-goers convinced they were seeing a shock upset, Gatlin actually stayed in front through 70 meters.
 
And then the Lightning Bolt struck.
 
He caught Gatlin and was on his way.
 
His 9.77 - into a mild headwind - was his best this year but nowhere close to his WR 9.58 at the 2009 Worlds in Berlin.
 
Once Bolt reached full stride, the  rest were relegated -Gatlin to the silver in 9.85, Carter to the bronze in 9.95, with Bailey-Cole (9.98) and Ashmeade both at 9.98s to complete a remarkable 1-3-4-5 Jamaica slam.
 
Trouble here now was
 
Gatlin's view was that Bolt had won only because Gatlin had lost.
 
Post-race quotes told you that  Gatlin wasn't willing to concede the better man had  won.
 
He wasn't willing to admit that Bolt simply outlegged him to the line.  He had to find an excuse and wrap it up in a disjointed explanation.
 
"I feel good," said Gatlin, starting his post-race interview, setting aside any talk of the aching hamstring he'd mentioned a day earlier.
 
"If I'd run a perfect race and got beaten, I'd have been concerned," he said.
 
"But I didn't run a perfect race.
 
"I got a little excited and didn't execute the last 30 meters."
 
But now the kicker:
 
"I have time to correct that.  I have a couple more races coming up."
 
Reference here surely was to other meets coming soon on the global professional  running circuit, surely not to the 4x100 relay coming up as the meet closer Sunday night.
 
Well, here's our own kicker:
 
Justin, just get off it.
 
The results system is precise. Bolt didn't win because you lost.
 
You lost because Bolt won.
 
"More races coming soon. Time to make it up?"
 
Justin, your own name tells this story.
 
You were just not in time Sunday night at Luzhniki.
 
You were eight hundredths of a second late.
 
And there's no time now to "make corrections."
 
Sure they'll run some more "on the circuit."
 
But they won't really mean a thing.  The Worlds is the Worlds is the Worlds.
 
Post-season exhibitions don't count.
 
You had your chance Sunday night.  And you were eight hundredths late.

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