Justin Gatlin of the United States of America, who said he would defy odds to beat Usain Bolt, did not live to the expectations after failing to qualify in the finals of the men’s 200-meter dash at the Rio Olympics.
Gatlin finished his semifinal heat with a time of 20.13 seconds which did not merit a spot in the finals. As usual, Bolt burned all opposition with his time of 19.78 seconds to take a step closer to winning his second gold medal in Rio. With Gatlin failing to qualify for the finals, it will be a no-contest for Bolt, who attempts to beat his previous world record in the 200-meter dash at 19.19.
Other finalist included Canada’s Andre De Grasse, who clocked a new Canadian record at 19.80. With Gatlin out, USA puts its hopes on Lashawn Merritt, who finished his semifinal run with a time of 19.94.
In this year’s Olympics, Gatlin has secured the silver medal in the 100-meter dash and hopes to bounce back in the men’s 4×100 meter relay. But Gatlin and the rest of his team needs to secure a finals spot as the preliminaries start today with the semifinals set Friday and the Finals on Saturday.
It was indeed a disappointing day for Gatlin, who vowed to unseat Bolt from the pedestal of athletics. Now that his 200-meter race is over, he will just have to enjoy the front row seat as Bolt makes his way for his planned “triple-triple” feat.
To watch Bolt’s performance logged in to NBC Olympics for the live stream. Aside from the 200 meters, Bolt will try also to secure a gold medal finish in the 4×100 meter relay.
Photo Courtesy: Kent Capture/Flickr