The great Jamaican, Usain Bolt has been beaten to the gold medal in the final 100m race of his career at the World Athletics Championships in London.
The 11-time World Championships gold medallist, who finished second to American Christian Coleman in his semi-final earlier this evening, he had to make do with third place and a bronze medal in the final at the London Stadium as he said farewell to the race which saw him become one of the biggest stars in world sport.
It looked as though Coleman might win the gold until he was overtaken by Gatlin in the closing stages of the race, with the United States claiming gold and silver ahead of Bolt and compatriot Yohan Blake.
Gatlin, who has served two lengthy drugs bans during his controversial career, was roundly booed before and after the race, but paid tribute to Bolt by bowing down at the Jamaican’s feet following confirmation of his victory.
The American missed out on first place to Bolt at the last two World Championships – in addition to the past two Olympic Games – but he finally clinched his first major gold medal since the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki.
The race brings an end to a legendary career for Bolt, who has won seven individual golds at the World Championships, three of which have come in the 100m.
The sprinting icon, widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time, retires having won eight Olympic gold medals in addition to his success at the World Championships.
At last summer’s Rio Olympics, Bolt became the first man to win three 100m Olympic titles, securing his status as one of sport’s greats.
He achieved an unprecedented Olympic “triple-triple” in the sprint events (winning the 100m, 200m and sprint relay) but the 4x100m gold won in Beijing 2008 was taken away from him following teammate Nesta Carter’s retrospective positive doping test earlier this year.
All four of the fastest 100m times in history belong to Bolt and his sensational 100m world record of 9.58 seconds, achieved in Berlin in 2009, will live long in the memory.
The age of Bolt is now over, yet the baton has been passed not to a new generation but an American five years the Jamaican’s senior.
However, 21-year-old silver medalist Coleman — still the fastest man in the world this year with a 9.82 run in Eugene in June — could be Bolt’s long-term successor in the blue riband event.