Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Gatlin a symbol of perseverance

Published:Wednesday | August 9, 2017 | 8:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Usain Bolt's loss to Justin Gatlin is good for sports and for young, vulnerable students. Gatlin's surprise win has inserted some of life's complexities into what could almost be perceived as a much-fancied fairy-tale career.

The 100m final was a good tool to demonstrate that, in life, nothing is guaranteed. Life is not as easy as 1-2-3, and despite one's dominance, one should not take anything for granted. We need to understand that failure and success are human experiences that go hand in hand, despite our preparation. However, proper preparation enhances one's execution, thereby improving your chances for victory. It is my view that Usain Bolt was not fully prepared.

The phenomenon called Justin Gatlin is no ordinary human being, and I am speaking based on the salvation principle. A two-time drug cheat who has paid more than his dues for his indiscretions has been beaten by Bolt at every major championship. Gatlin could have long called it a day and moved on.

Though being an older athlete, his motivation, confidence and preparation keep improving, and the result speaks for itself. While Usain Bolt is the face of athletics, it is Justin Gatlin who has kept it relevant. It is said that the man who runs, falls and gets up is stronger than the man who has never fallen.

While I may receive strong opposition for this, I think there are more life lessons to be learnt from Justin Gatlin's career than any other athlete in his era. He was punished for his discretions, shamed the most when he competes, was the official underdog when he competed against Usain Bolt, and yet still had the fortitude to train and persevere. He gives hope to society's outcasts.

While this loss takes nothing from the magnificent Usain St Leo Bolt's illustrious career, it now showcases him as a shrewd businessman who knows the limits of his goods and chose to diversify before the market took note of it.

FRANK PEART

frankpeart@yahoo.co.uk

Norwich, Port Antonio