The IAAF World Championship in Beijing wasn’t Usain Bolt’s first appearance since returning from a pelvic injury, but it did prove to be the stage for a heck of a comeback. Narrowly beating out rival Justin Gatlin by one hundredth of a second, Bolt posted his best time of the season in the 100-meter final (9.79 seconds). The time in and of itself is impressive. Add in the recovery from injury and it’s more impressive. Add in further that Bolt literally stumbled out of the gate, and it’s even more absurd.
Here are the full results, with Andre De Grasse and Trayvon Bromell tying for third place:
Coming into the final, Gatlin was surging and Bolt struggling with his form. As CNN International noted, “although Bolt had won six of the seven races between the pair over the years, Gatlin was unbeaten in 28 races and boasted the fastest time (9.74 seconds) of any sprinter this year.”
With the Rio Olympics just a year away, it’s critical for Bolt to return to form. Although Sunday wasn’t his best race from start to finish, it did show Bolt’s extra gear is unlike anyone else in the sport at the moment (or maybe ever). He always seems to perform his best when the stage is the biggest. Perhaps that will hold true again a year from now.
(Via Athletics 2)