Justin Gatlin may have sensationally regained the world 100m title denying superstar Usain Bolt a golden farewell but like the crowd in the London Stadium the British media slammed the fact the former drugs cheat had gatecrashed the party, AFP reports.
The 35-year-old American – the Olympic 100m champion in 2004 and world champion in 2005 (also winning the 200m world crown to achieve the double) – showed great character to shut out the jeering to storm home and beat young compatriot Christian Coleman and Bolt, who for once was unable to find the gas to make up for a woeful start.
Some saw it as the ultimate redemption for Gatlin to have prevailed after serving a four year ban – reduced from eight – from 2006-2010, having also been barred during his college days though his medication was for his Attention Deficit Disorder.
“Take GAT – Usain Bolt sunk as drugs cheat Justin Gatlin ruins his golden goodbye,” headlined The Sun.
Never one to mince their words the newspaper described how Bolt received the adulation of the crowd whilst Gatlin – who had brought a finger to his mouth after being named the winner to hush the crowd – slunk off.
“Gatlin disappeared from view after a brief run down the home straight, but when he returned for interviews he was greeted with chants of “cheat, cheat cheat” while he was live on air.”
The Mail on Sunday took a similarly dim view of Gatlin ruining the 30-year-old Jamaican’s bid for a 12th world gold.
“A terrible silence met the end of the men’s 100m final here,” wrote their correspondent.
“Not only was Usain Bolt, the great hero of the sport, denied victory in his final individual race, but it was won by two-time drugs cheat Justin Gatlin. Athletics’ worst nightmare had just unfolded in front of a watching world.”
The broadsheet press was largely in agreement although The Guardian believed that chickens had come home to roost for the sport itself.