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Bolt is great but I gave the race away – Gatlin

Published:Monday | August 24, 2015 | 8:00 AMAndre Lowe

BEIJING, China:

American Justin Gatlin said he 'gave the race away' after losing to Usain Bolt in the final of the men's 100 metres at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, yesterday.

Gatlin has gone the better part of two years unbeaten, and was considered by many to be the favourite for the title 100m title.

However, the American had to settle for silver after Bolt chased him down, caught him and then beat him to the line in a time of 9.79 seconds, with Gatlin clocking 9.80. Trayvon Bromell and Andre De Grasse shared third place after both were timed at 9.92.

"At the end of the day, I guess I can say I gave the race away at the last five metres. The momentum, I was leaning forward and I stumbled going across the finish line, but I'm happy to be in the race, happy it came so close, and happy to represent my country," said Gatlin, who remains the fastest man in the world this year, with a time of 9.74.

Gatlin, who lost his form towards the back end of the race as Bolt caught up to him, dismissed suggestions that this was due to the pressure being applied by Bolt, pressure he has barely seen during his spell of dominance.

"Pressure? No. I have had pressure since 2011, so it's not the pressure. It's just to come and run, and the last five metres; it wasn't my day today," he said.

"He's a gamer. He's a showman, and everyone who steps on the line has to go against him with their A-game.

"I love to run. I love to compete. Win or lose, it was a great race against a great guy, and that's all that matters at the end of the day running against great opponents and representing my country," added Gatlin.