Justin Gatlin burst off the blocks Sunday night in Rio and for about halfway into the men's 100-meter final, it looked like the American runner was going to upset Usain Bolt.
But just then, Bolt proved why he's the world's fastest man, turning his jets on to defeat Gatlin by .08 of a second to win his third straight gold medal in the event.
And, oh yeah, Bolt looked across at the cameras and smiled while winning the race, only adding insult to Gatlin's silver-medal finish.
But at 34 and having made it back from a four-year doping suspension, Gatlin put being edged out by Bolt into perspective afterward.
“I’m 34, and I’ll be the oldest sprinter ever on a podium,” he told the New York Times in Rio. “I’m just happy to be here.”
As for coming up short in his rivalry with Bolt?
“He’s pushed me to be the athlete I am today, and I hope he would say the same of me,” Gatlin added. “I’ve given him the best races he’s had in all of his career.”
Winning a gold medal in the 100-meter final in Athens during the 2004 Olympic Games and a silver medal in the same event 12 years later isn't anything to be ashamed about for Gatlin.
Plus, as we all knew, Bolt is just too good.
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(Photo: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
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