Usain Bolt stormed to the World Championship sprint double at the World Athletics Championships when a runaway segway proved more problematic than Justin Gatlin. Four days on from riding to the rescue of his beleaguered sport in the 100 metres, the Jamaican attempted to make it four successive half-lap world crowns in Beijing.
Gatlin, cast as athletics’ number one villain, again stood in his way but once more failed to wrestle away gold as Bolt held strong down the home straight to win in a world-leading 19.55 secs.
The 29-year-old finished the 200m final an impressive 0.19 secs ahead of two-time drugs cheat Gatlin, whose comments in the build-up clearly irked the Jamaican sprint great.
“I wasn’t worried. I knew I had to run the first 150 hard. After the first 150, I looked across and I could see Justin Gatlin was tiring and then it was never a doubt I would win the race,” Bolt said.
“Why I really celebrated was because Gatlin said earlier in the week he was going to bring out something special for the 200 metres. I was like ’yo, you don’t talk about my 200 metres like that’ so I had to prove to him that I am number one.” Those celebrations were lapped up by the crowd, with some of the “crazy fans” trying to get closer to the 200m champion by jumping the barrier. They were ushered away by the stadium’s heavy-handed security team, although they could not protect Bolt from an unusual threat.
A TV cameraman was trailing Bolt’s celebrations when the wheel of his segway rolled up on to a camera track, changing the vehicle’s direction and taking the sprinter out from behind.
There was an audible gasp inside the Bird’s Nest as the double gold medallist was wiped out, but he quickly composed himself and allayed fears of any lasting impact afterwards.
“It didn’t actually hit me in my Achilles, it hit me in my calf area,” Bolt said. “It’s alright, I will get over it.”
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