Usain Bolt insists Justin Gatlin did not deserve boos from London 2017 crowd – ‘he is a great competitor’
Usain Bolt insisted Justin Gatlin did not deserve the boos that accompanied his shock 100m final victory in London.
The controversial American stunned the crowd at the World Championships with victory, ending Bolt’s hopes of a dream finale.
All eyes were on the Jamaican in his last ever individual race but he could only take third, behind Gatlin and Christian Coleman.
After his victory, Gatlin was booed by the London Stadium crowd given his previous drug conviction.
But the American confirmed Bolt spoke to him afterwards and insisted it was not deserved.
“We are rivals on the track but in the warm area we have a good time,” he said.
“The first thing he said [after the race] was congratulations and that I didn’t deserve the boos.
“I thank him for inspiring me throughout my career and he’s an amazing man.”
Bolt, who admitted his disappointment with another slow start, also spoke glowingly about the gold medallist.
“He is a great competitor. He is always at his best and tonight I wasn’t,” Bolt added.
“He always competes to the end. He is an excellent person.”
While Bolt hailed the American, BBC pundit Michael Johnson wasn’t as impressed.
“I have a problem with any athlete who dopes,” he said.
“Everyone in the USA knows his first ban and they give him a pass on that.
“Everyone around hte world wanted Bolt to win this.
“On Gatlin, most people want this to be over and move on.”