In a race that more than lived up to the hype, the 100 meter Men’s race on Saturday, August 5, 2017 is one for the record books. Christian Coleman, NCAA champion over 100 meters and 200 meters, a young man who had raced since January 2017, without a stop, had dominated both the first round and semi finals of the 100 meters. In retrospect, Justin Gatlin had a modest season, and then defeated Christian Coleman at the USATF champs. Coleman was beat by Ameer Webb in the 200m at the USATF Champs using the same tactics that Gatlin used on Mr. Coleman in the 100 meters.
Christian Coleman recovered from the USATF champs and his management team announced that he would focus on the 100 meters.
Usain Bolt had a difficult year. He was training in the spring, and lost a dear friend in an auto accident. The death was difficult for Mr. Bolt, who took off a few weeks from training. Coach Mills, a man who Usain Bolt gave fine tributes to at the PUMA presser prior to the 2017 World Champs, gave Usain some space and let him return to training when he was ready.
Usain had two 100 meter races this season prior to London. He ran round 1, and it was sloppy, as Usain had to really work the last 40 meters. In the semi-finals, Christian Coleman took off like a bat out of hell, and Usain Bolt ran up on him, but Coleman was sending a message.
Justin Gatlin kept his cards close to his chest. Round 1 was okay, and his semi-final was okay. With a long career, Gatlin understands how to get through rounds and where to race hard. That is what is called experience.
In the final, Christian Coleman got out hard, and Bolt was working to catch him. Coleman was in front of him, and Bolt was looking for another gear. Well, without the training that Coach Mills provided for Bolt in past year, Usain was running on muscle memory, grit and determination. Usain Bolt was working hard to get Coleman, and instead of relaxing over the last 40 meters, and letting the speed develop, Mr. Bolt was pushing, tightening in his shoulders and over working.
And then, on the other side of the track, Justin Gatlin was running a fine race. He got out well, and was running by himself. Coleman and Bolt were battling and Gatlin was running his race, and just as he got to the line, the fans, and the announcers figured out that their dream of Usain Bolt winning his final race was just a dream. Justin Gatlin had come to the party and he had another plan, he wanted to win.
And he did.
Then, the crowd, cheered Usain Bolt and booed Justin Gatlin. This very much disturbed me. Not that I did not understand the crowds feelings, as most were not track fans, but more general sport fans. I felt that it was tacky, and track crowds, for the most part are not tacky.
The following interview was on Saturday night, August 5, 2017, with Christian Coleman, Justin Gatlin and Usain Bolt. What comes across? That the three are warriors, and they respect each other. Usain Bolt showed even more how classy he is, and he did not like the booing, and he embraced Justin after the race.
Watch the interview, think about it and share your thoughts by emailing me at email@example.com.