Gatlin in shock after 'Lightning' Bolt strike

Gatlin in shock after 'Lightning' Bolt strike

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

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BEIJING, China -- Jamaica's dominance over the once mighty USA was once again strongly emphasised following the running of the World Championships 4x100m relays and much to the dismay of Justin Gatlin, who thought his team could have halted the Jamaican train.

"Definitely (we hoped to have done better), but not because Jamaica was not as good as they have been in the past championships," said Gatlin, as he rapped with journalists in the mixed zone.

The USA, with a population of some 300 million people, has being playing second fiddle to the tiny Caribbean island of 2.8 million inhabitants in sprinting in the recent past.

But while Jamaica were winning a remarkable fourth consecutive 4x100m title, it was the fourth time in the last six championships that the Americans failed to finish or were disqualified.

"Contrary to popular belief, people think that the US team doesn't do a lot of practice. This year we put all that aside and worked together. We liked the good synergy as Tyson (Gay) knows my steps, I know Trayvon's (Bromell), I know Mike's (Rogers) cues even when he runs the first leg in our sleep," said Gatlin, shaking his head from side to side.

"In America, we compete against each other all the time weekend in, weekend out. Mike Rodgers, Tyson Gay, Trayvon, Ryan Bailey, we compete against each other so and we know each other," he reiterated.

The Jamaican quartet of Nesta Carter, Asafa Powell, Nickel Ashmeade and Usain Bolt won in 37.36 seconds and were well clear of the USA who was later disqualified.

"We were ahead by a couple of steps, next thing I know Mike Rodgers slowed down and Usain sped up," said Gatlin on the Americans botched final exchange.

But he was not taking nothing away from Bolt, who won another triple gold medal haul.

"You can call it competitiveness, you can call it bravery, but at the end of the day, it takes a responsible person to go out there and the courage to be able to go out there and face Usain at the Championships and try to be able to get to the top of the podium," Gatlin noted.

The man who twice failed drug tests has been received well by the large appreciative crowd and is revelling in the occasion.

"I am still taking it in. I am so happy that people were able to finally see me as a human being, see how hard I work, the time I put in, the effort I put in. I just put myself for the fans," said Gatlin.

"I am always a competitor, a fighter, so I just used the the positives and negatives to be able to charge me up before and be ready for all my races all season long," he added.

Gatlin, who came into the World Championships on the back of a 28-race unbeaten streak, lost both the 100m and 200m to Bolt, but he remained positive in defeat.

"I worked very hard, each year. I have got better as an athlete and the last two years I had been undefeated. The only man that was able to topple me was Usain... I am pleased with my season and going back to the drawing board and getting ready for next year," Gatlin remarked.

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