Bowie wins women's 100m at World Championships as Olympic champion Thompson flops

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Tori Bowie.

American Tori Bowie won the women’s 100 metres world title on Sunday making up for her silver in last year’s Olympics while Rio gold medallist Elaine Thompson struggled home in fifth place.

The 26-year-old made up metres on long time leader Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast to edge her with the final dip on the line.

Bowie fell to the ground after crossing the line and initially it was Ta Lou who celebrated only for the board to say otherwise.

“I had no idea that I had won,” said Bowie, who has a habit of hurling herself at the line in major championships finals having done a similar thing in the Olympic 200m final last year which saw her take the bronze.

“The only thing I knew was that tonight I was going to lay it all on the line.”

Bowie admitted that perhaps she should stop diving or dipping like that given the pain she was feeling.

“The dive doesn’t feel too good now,” she said. “But that has saved me in the past at championships…I never give up until I am over the line.

“Ta Lou went very fast but she always does so I wasn’t worried and I kept to my race.

“I have a few cuts and bruises but I will now focus on the 200m.”

The Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers finished third while hot favourite and 100m Olympic champion Thompson faded to fifth.

The 25-year-old Jamaican had started well but by halfway she had been swallowed up and was unable to find an extra gear as she had done most of the season.

Thompson, who will not race the 200m at the world championships, was gracious in defeat.

“I have to give those three girls a lot of credit so big congratulations to them,” she said.

“I don’t know what happened I just wanted to get a good start but they raced well. I didn’t execute my race which is a shame but I am healthy at least.”

Ta Lou emerged as the clear leader but Bowie ate into her advantage and then produced the dip of her life to take the title from under the diminutive Ivorian’s nose.

“It is a dream come true,” said Ta Lou. “I didn’t expect to be in the top three because all the other girls have the power.”

Ta Lou’s compatriot and 2013 world double sprint medallist Murielle Ahoure also suffered frustration in being edged out of bronze by Schippers, who will look to retain her world 200m title later in the week.

“From lane nine I was far away from my competitors so I am very happy to get a medal from the outside lane,” said the statuesque 25-year-old Dutchwoman.

“My start was not great. The blocks were slightly down when I drove out. Maybe I was unfortunate. But I made it back into the race.”

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Is Justin Gatlin’s 100m gold as bad for athletics as it’s being viewed?

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Gatlin spoiled Bolt's party in London.

Justin Gatlin stunned the world to win the men’s 100m final on Saturday, thereby spoiling Jamaican legend Usain Bolt’s farewell party to take the gold medal at the World Athletics Championships.

But is Gatlin’s 100m win as bad for athletics as it’s being viewed?

Let us know your thoughts as our two writers discuss the topic.

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Join the conversation on Twitter and via Facebook.

MATT MONAGHAN, SAYS YES

The defiant finger on the lips as the boos rained down at a shell-shocked Olymic Stadium said it all about the wretched Justin Gatlin and where Saturday night’s deflating win has left an embattled sport, which might not be able to weather another shot at its shattered credibility.

Like the serial killer coming back from the dead in a budget slasher movie, the two-time convicted drugs cheat denied Usain Bolt – genuine athletic royalty – the send-off in the 100 metres his epoch-defining achievements merit.

With this anticlimactic victory at the World Championships, a detested figure who feeds off opprobrium and has done so much damage to his pursuit delivered a further blow from which it may struggle to recover in the barren post-Bolt era.

Justin Gatlin celebrates after winning the 100m race.

Justin Gatlin celebrates after winning the 100m race.

There is a stark difference between the great competitor being denied a valedictory send-off by emerging 21-year-old American Christian Coleman, and the shameless 35-year-old compatriot for whom his very presence in the absence of a lifetime ban is an affront to everything the Olympic movement was set-up to represent.

This was, distinctly, not the required passing of the baton.

The scandals which have repeatedly rocked many elite sports in the previous decade ensure every outstanding achievement must be scrutinised.

But the current facts as they stand are that the gregarious Bolt walks away after next weekend’s 4x100m with multiple Games medals, the world record time, warm affections of fans and without a failed drugs test to his name. Gatlin’s abominate, unethical reputation merely highlights the issues which have bedevilled athletics.

The IAAF matches FIFA for shame and corruption. Bolt’s clean record and inspirational triumphs have, just about, maintained athletics’ dignity in a time of strife.

He “saved” athletics by defeating the demonised Gatlin at the 2015 edition. But the unsightly past re-emerged this weekend to critically impinge a frail future.

JAY ASSER, SAYS NO

Sports are at their best when the drama is at its highest. In regards to entertainment, Justin Gatlin’s victory over Usain Bolt in the 100m at the World Championships was as dramatic as it gets. Was it the desired result for athletics? No.

The support was overwhelmingly in Bolt’s corner, with the beloved Jamaican racing the last individual 100m of his phenomenal career.

Few, if any, wanted to see the sprint superstar bested, let alone by the villainised Gatlin, who has twice been caught doping. A storybook ending is what everyone wanted, but it’s also what everyone expected.

Justin Gatlin (L), Usain Bolt (R)

Justin Gatlin (L), Usain Bolt (R)

The result we got can be characterised as many things, but one thing it can’t be labelled is ‘boring’. Sports thrive off unpredictability and if there was one negative that came with Bolt’s dominance over the years, it was that his unparalleled ability turned what should otherwise have been competitive events into a formality.

Bolt has always been a likeable figure, thanks to charisma and spotless record, so we didn’t become jaded by the dominance. He just stood too much for ‘good’ for his appeal to ever waver But light cannot exist without darkness and every hero needs a worthy villain.

There’s been even more reason to root for Bolt when his biggest rival of late has been a two-time drug cheat in Gatlin. The ‘good v evil’ narrative has been played up and played out, drawing even more eyes to athletics.

As Tony Montana said, you need people like Gatlin to point to and say “that’s the bad guy”. Otherwise, what else is there to contrast a figure like Bolt? And the bad guy needs to win sometimes, or he becomes inconsequential.

It’s the same reason why ‘Game of Thrones’ is the most popular show on television right now. So even though Bolt will no longer be around to challenge Gatlin, we’ll be eager to see someone else take up the mantle.

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Bolt has no regrets following disappointing farewell at World Championships

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Usain Bolt.

Usain Bolt insisted he had no regrets after Justin Gatlin gatecrashed his farewell in the 100 metres final at the World Championships.

The Jamaican was forced to settle for third in his final solo race at the London Stadium on Saturday after also being beaten by the USA’s Christian Coleman.

The 35-year-old Gatlin – booed throughout after his previous doping violations – won a highly-charged race in 9.92 seconds, with Coleman completing an American one-two in 9.94secs and Bolt crossing the line in 9.95.

It shocked the crowd who had come to see Bolt sign off in style as he prepares to retire at the end of the championships – and the eight-time Olympic champion insisted the defeat changes nothing.

“No regrets. I came out and did my best, I was always to end no matter what happened – win, lose or draw I was always going to walk away,” said the 30-year-old.

“It doesn’t change anything in my career, I have done everything I can do for the sport and for myself. It’s time to go.

“It doesn’t change anything. I lost the race to a great competitor, I came third to a young kid coming up – he has a great talent and a great future ahead of him.

“No matter what happened this season I was going to come out and do my best. I did it for the fans, they really wanted me to do one more season.

“I worked hard, I’m definitely disappointed. No one is going to be happy they didn’t win but I knew I came out here and I gave my all.”

Bolt was aiming to claim a fourth 100m world title after victories in Berlin, Moscow and Beijing but had another shocking start.

He again failed to get going after having poor starts in his heat and semi-final – fiercely criticising the blocks after Friday night’s heat.

The IAAF had dismissed his complaints, insisting the blocks are the same model as used as in Beijing two years ago.

Bolt recovered in the second half of the race again but could not bring in Gatlin or Coleman – the fastest man in the world going into what was his first international championships.

“That was the only thing, after the semi-finals, I ran the semi-finals with Coleman, and I knew if i didn’t get my start I was going to be in trouble,” he said.

“That’s it, I knew it. When I left he blocks I was like ‘ahhh’. I knew I had to try so I came out and tried my best but it wasn’t good enough.

“I don’t know what to say about my start, this is the first time in a championships I’ve gone thorough and it’s been so poor. I was going through the mixed zone and looked at the start and my reaction was 0.183.

“It shows I was way off. I knew from the start if I didn’t get in to race I would be in trouble. I try not to blame one thing. I came out and gave it my best and it wasn’t good enough.”

The result was not immediately clear, with the crowd waiting to see the scoreboard, but when it showed the standings it left the London Stadium in stunned silence before they began to chant Bolt’s name as Gatlin celebrated and was in tears on the track.

Gatlin’s celebrations were a sideshow as Bolt still took the plaudits and did a lap of honour, still playing to the crowd when the stadium was emptying.

The American was the pantomime villain throughout the competition, having previously been banned for doping violations in 2001 and 2006.

Bolt added: “For me, over the years, he has done his time, if he’s here then it’s okay. I will always respect him as a competitor.

“Over the years he has worked hard and he is one of the best I have competed with. I know if I don’t show up he’s always going to win and he showed up.

“He deserves to be here because he’s done his time and he’s worked hard to get back to being one of the best athletes.

“He is a great competitor. I’ve always said that about Justin Gatlin. You have to be at your best and I wasn’t and that’s what I respect about him because he competes and I really appreciate competing with him.

“He’s an excellent person, as far as I’m concerned. He’s good at it and just a good person.”

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