The 100m final race on Sunday at the World Championships was supposed to be all about the legendary Usain Bolt, who was pulling the curtain on a successful career in 100m. Justin Gatlin of America ruined a perfect sports fairytale for Bolt but fans had other reasons to jeer the 35-year old.
Gatlin was booed by a crowd of around 56,000 as he crossed the finish line to win gold on Sunday. But it was not in relation to party spoiler for Bolt. Gatlin has been in news for being a twice doping offender, as his Wikipedia profile also screams Justin “the Cheat” Gatlin.
The American was booed at almost every turn this week in London – during introductions or when his face showed up on the big screen. Gatlin has a doping past but his suspension ended in 2010. He is, however, still portrayed as the bad guy, even by the commentators.
When Bolt prevailed over Galtin two years ago at the Beijing World Championships, it was hailed as good prevailing over evil. However, even Bolt felt that it was not fair to jeer Gatlin after his win. “The first thing he did was congratulate me and say that I didn’t deserve the boos,” Gatlin revealed. “He is an inspiration.”
Bolt said, “He is a great competitor. You have to be at your best against him. I really appreciate competing against him and he is a good person.”
Gatlin finished runner-up to Bolt in Rio Olympics 2016.