Got a long way to go: Bolt
Usain Bolt rues loss to Justin Gatlin, but will work on the missing links once he returns home
Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt said he will review the key ingredients missing from his race after being pipped to victory in his first 100m outing in Europe this season by American rival Justin Gatlin.
Gatlin came into the Rome Golden Gala expected to challenge the world record holder (9.58sec) on the back of two wins in the opening two legs of the Diamond League in Doha and in Eugene.
Bolt, meanwhile, was making his first appearance on the continent since his recent recovery from a hamstring injury.
The Jamaican surprised himself with a strong start but soon had trouble finding the required rhythm and later admitted his traditionally strong finish was absent. Bolt, who will next compete in Oslo at the Bislett Games before returning to Jamaica on June 14, said he felt no twinge from his hamstring during the race but felt “a little sore” afterwards.
‘I wasn’t there’
But he admits he has work to do ahead of the world championships in Moscow later this summer. “I got a great start. I think the fact that I did threw me off a little,” said the Jamaican.
“Normally the last 50 (metres) is the best part of my race but it wasn’t there. But I’m not worried. I wanted to find out where I was at here and now I will go home and look at the tape, see where I went wrong and come out and do better next time.”
Gatlin’s weaker start did not stop him clinching the win with a dipped finish in a time of 9.94, his third win in the Diamond League this season.
But the 2004 Olympic champion, who once served a four-year ban for doping, admitted his technique is also a work in progress. “Last season, I was a really good starter, this year, it's been a little slower,” said the American. “I’m trying to get that back and get the middle of my race stronger. I just want to stay healthy. It’s a long season ahead.”