JUSTIN GATLIN has smashed Usain Bolt’s 100metre world record — but the Jamaican can rest easy knowing he still holds the sprint crown, according to The Sun. Convicted doper Gatlin blasted to a time of 9.45secs on a Japanese TV show as giant fans sent him hurtling down the track with the help of a 20mph tailwind.
And while his mark will not be added to the record books, it was 0.13secs faster than Bolt’s incredible 9.58secs run at the Berlin World Championships in 2009. The American is seen high-fiving the presenters of show Kasupe! before posing alongside his new ‘world record’ last summer. Marks in the 100m, 200m, long and triple jumps are only added to the record books if the wind assistance is less than 2m-per-second.
The 34-year-old is a divisive figure among athletics fans, having served two doping bans, the latest of which saw his 2006 then-world record time of 9.77secs scrubbed out of the record books. Since his return in 2010, Gatlin has been a constant thorn in the side of double sprint world record-holder Bolt.
The Jamaican was widely-expected to lose his world crowns at last summer’s World Championships in Beijing. But the 29-year-old defied expectations to pip Gatlin to the line by one-hundredth of a second over 100m, and storm to the title over the longer distance by two-tenths of a second.
He will be going for gold again this summer at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where he can add to his six Olympics golds. And he had a word of warning for his rival. Bolt said: “Justin Gatlin says he’s coming, but for me, I’m much more focused. I’m starting the season in much better shape than I did the last one, so it is only forward from here.”