Bolt strikes second gold

No podium finishes yet for South Africa

[caption id="attachment_96886" align="alignright" width="300"] JUSTIN GATLIN[/caption]

THE threatening thunder clouds above Beijing never roared last night, but Usain Bolt struck gold for the second time of his career at the Bird’s Nest stadium. Justin Gatlin, the fastest man in the world this year, failed to reproduce his 9.74sec season’s best – or even his 9.77 semifinal effort – when it mattered in the final, losing by one-hundredth of a second.

In some ways their world championship contest at the Bird’s Nest stadium represented a tussle between good and evil; unblemished Bolt against the drug-tainted American, the 2004 Olympic champion who has served two bans in his long career.

Athletics has recently taken a knock amid renewed doping suspicions, which the world governing body, the IAAF, has played down.

The majority of the crowd wanted Bolt to win, and he obliged, rolling across the track in a season’s best 9.79 ahead of Gatlin (9.80).

Up-and-coming Canadian Andre de Grasse and Trayvon Bromell of the US shared bronze in 9.92.

Bolt said: “I came out here, relaxed, no stress and brought it home.

“My aim is to be No 1 until I retire. Therefore, I am pushing myself and pushing myself. It is all about running the race and getting it done.

“You can call that race rusty. I could have run faster,” Bolt, who won his first Olympic 100m crown here in 2008, said.

Last night was his third world championship gold, retaining the title he won during a lightning storm in Moscow two years ago.

His 1hr 21min 43sec was his fifth national record of the year. -David Isaacson