Justin Gatlin reveals key aspect he worked on in 2017 to finally beat Usain Bolt after 2015 glitch

Justin Gatlin reveals key aspect he worked on in 2017 to finally beat Usain Bolt after 2015 glitch

Mark Kinyanjui 16:00 - 10.05.2024

Gatlin has revealed the aspect about his racing he worked on after failing to beat an 'off form' Bolt at the 2015 World Championships to finally beat him in 2017.

American sprint icon Justin Gatlin has revealed the aspect about his running he worked on in 2017 to finally beat Usain Bolt after he missed out on a glorious chance to beat him two years earlier in 2015.

It had to take seven years for Gatlin to finally beat Bolt after trying and failing to beat his Jamaican nemesis over and over again, being forced to play second fiddle to the sprinting legend.

In 2015, Gatlin was hotly tipped as the favorite to win the 2015 100m title given he had been dominating in that period.

You see, A hamstring injury to Bolt in March 2014 caused him to miss nine weeks of training, and he only took part in one individual 100m competition when he broke the World Indoor Record in Poland.

This put him in pretty woeful shape, and building up to the World Championships, he was in abysmal form.

He prepared for the event with just a handful of races, running only two 100m and three 200m. 

His opening times were 10.12s for the 100m and 20.20s for the 200m. Although he won the 200m races in New York and Ostrava, his season's best time of 20.13s ranked him 20th globally.

Bolt's form improved with two 100m runs of 9.87s in July in London, but Gatlin was the dominant sprinter with superior times of 9.74s and 19.57s and was seen as favorite to end the Jamaican legend’s dominance as a result.

Gatlin had been rebuilding his career for five years after being forced to serve a four year-ban for doping, which had put the 2004 Olympic champion’s reputation in the mud.

Speaking on his Ready Set Go podcast recently, Gatlin admitted that he thought the physical aspect of his running would have been enough to finally get one over Bolt.

“In 15, I thought (the) physical (aspect) could get it done because I was in 9.7 shape. I ran 9.77 in the semis, slowing down. That time in the semis would have won the finals hands down, but I did not get to line with the mental part.

Justin has opened up on the rigorous training regimen he put himself through just to get himself ready for 2015.

“I was not physically fully prepared in 2017, but I was mentally prepared the whole time. I was ready for that.

“I left 2014 undefeated but I realised that I did not get the chance to race Bolt that year so I felt like to me, it was not a whole victory yet, so I trained like a mad man in the fall of 2015.

“ I would push myself to the limit. I would realise pain is inevitable, it is going to happen but I wanted to control how the outcome was going to be.

“I trained like a mad man. Anything hard like a mad man, anything I did, I had to max and it paid off.”

Gatlin has aimed a cheeky dig at Bolt for refusing to race him at any point in the build up to the 2015 World Championships in China, which did not allow him a chance to gauge himself before to know his strengths and weaknesses.

“I went to bed two nights later in ‘15. I was laying on the bed at the hotel during the world championships. I slept, woke up and then was like, ‘Damn, he got me!’ I never got a gauge on him the whole season.”

The 42-year old retired athlete has given upcoming athletes tips on how to make the most of your opportunity when it matters.

“As an elite runner now, you have to know when to seize your moment. History will show that I ran  the most 9.7s in the seasons but I had no award I wanted, and the crazy thing is, everyone knew it was mine to lose.”