Gatlin beats Powell in Doha
5/11/2012 9:32:05 PM -
American Justin Gatlin took another huge step to sprinting redemption by nipping Asafa Powell by a head at the line in the 100m at the opening meeting of the Diamond League here on Friday.
Powell, Jamaica's former world record holder, got off to a flying start, but Gatlin stuck with him and came through at the end, even looking left across the Jamaican at the time of 9.87sec on the board as he crossed the line.
The result was another massive tonic for Gatlin, who is making a comeback after a four-year doping ban and in March won the world indoor 60m title.
The 2004 Olympic 100m gold medallist has a great record of competing in Doha, where he memorably equalled Powell's then-world record of 9.77sec in a Grand Prix meeting in 2006.
The record was later rescinded after his doping violation came to light, but the American insisted he had no bitter-sweet thoughts.
His memories were of 'very pleasant, warm emotions', the 30-year-old Brooklyn native said. 'The night I broke the record was a magical night.'
For Powell, however, it was another disappointing finish to a race he looked to have in the bag, only to lose out by one-hundredth of a second.
'I had jetlag, I felt very tired at the end,' said Powell, a world-class sprinter who has achieved a lot but has failed to deliver so much more on the world and Olympic stage.
Leroy Clarke of Jamaica equalled his personal best of 9.99sec in finishing third.
Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt was absent from the meet, having preferred to make his season debut on home soil last weekend (with a world lead of 9.82sec over the 100m) and European bow in Ostrava, Czech Republic, later this month.
Story by Ghana/ Tony Bebli/ Joy Sports