Shrug replaces Usain's lightning Bolt as 'fastest man in the world' defeated by Justin Gatlin

'World's fastest man' beaten in to second place by American in Rome

Rome

This was not in the script. Usain Bolt, clad in an Italy shirt, was paraded around the Stadio Olimpico a full two hours before his race to rapturous applause. When he appeared for the business end of the event it was to screams of delight. By the end, all the man himself could do was shrug as Justin Gatlin danced around the Roman track in celebration of a rare triumph.

Gatlin had suggested the 100m was going to be a dogfight this year and that he was in the form to beat the Jamaican, and tonight he lived up to his promise, ducking ahead of Bolt to win in 9.94 sec, 0.01 sec ahead of the world and Olympic champion.

Bolt had arrived in Rome with a declaration of his own: that he wanted to dominate the four years that are left of his track career. He has started the season sluggishly – by his standards – but Rome has been where he has set his stall out for the previous two seasons. Instead it was Gatlin, the former doper who has started the season in scintillating fashion, who got his man.

"I really wanted to get a good start," said Bolt. "I got the perfect start but stumbled after five metres. It's just one of those things. I guess I need to be stronger at the end of the race. I think it's just time to get back. This season goes back to ground zero. At least I ran under 10 seconds this time.

"My legs did not feel the energy. It is just putting things together for the world championships. It is still very early. But you learn more from losing and you can't win every race."

It was his second race of the season after a 10.09sec in the Cayman Islands, and his first defeat over the distance since Yohan Blake got the better of him in the Jamaican trials before the London Games. Bolt's reaction there was to produce an emphatic reinstatement of his class in London when questions were being raised over his status as the undisputed world No 1. Next for Bolt is Oslo in a week's time – after a stop off in Paris to present the trophy to the winner of the men's title at the French Open – as he builds towards regaining the world crown he lost in Daegu two years ago.

For Gatlin, in particular, Blake and his other pursuers, will have offered a huge fillip. Any win over Bolt would be memorable, said Gatlin – the Jamaican has lost twice in the Diamond League over the distance in the last five years; to Tyson Gay in 2010 and to Asafa Powell in 2008. Gatlin demonstrated that Bolt 2013 can be caught, at least early-season Bolt 2013.

Just 10 weeks after undergoing a double hernia operation, Dai Greene emerged unscathed from his comeback 400m hurdles race, finishing fifth in 48.81. It was the Welshman's first race since the disappointment of finishing fourth at last year's London Olympics and he described it as a "promising" first step towards defending his world title in Moscow. Greene was third coming into the home straight before fading in a race won by world No 1 Johnny Dutch of the US.

"It was what I expected," Greene said afterwards. "I am very pleased with that after what has happened recently. Going over the last two barriers I was quite fatigued – that's where the speed endurance really tells, that's the stuff I've really missed. Considering where I'm at, that's a very promising start. It's nice to be back."

Shara Proctor finished an encouraging third in the long jump. Hannah England finished fourth in a high-class 1500m field, with Lisa Dobriskey in 10th. Phillips Idowu pulled out of the triple jump after three attempts on a low-key return.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine