Gatlin turns on the power to take gold

When Justin Gatlin became entangled in the drug-testing net three years ago, he managed to wriggle out of it on the grounds of suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Not that there was anything wrong with the young American's powers of concentration when the gun fired to start the men's 100m final in the Olympic Stadium last night.

When Justin Gatlin became entangled in the drug-testing net three years ago, he managed to wriggle out of it on the grounds of suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Not that there was anything wrong with the young American's powers of concentration when the gun fired to start the men's 100m final in the Olympic Stadium last night.

Gatlin was out of his blocks in a flash and gunning all the way to victory. He crossed the line in 9.85sec, missing Donovan Bailey's Olympic record by 0.01sec and prevailing by an identical margin ahead of the fast-finishing Francis Obikwelu, a native Nigerian running for Portugal. Maurice Greene, the defending champion, had to settle for the bronze medal, clocking 9.87sec, with the pre-race favourites Shawn Crawford and Asafa Powell fourth and fifth and the reigning world champion Kim Collins only sixth.

"This is why I shovel snow off North Carolina tracks in the middle of winter," Gatlin said. "The race was magnificent. I felt I was 100 miles above everybody else. It was so close, but that's how I felt."

Back in 2002, Gatlin felt relieved when the International Association of Athletics Federations lifted the two-year suspension he had been given a year earlier after testing positive for a banned stimulant. The sport's governing body accepted medical advice that the offending substance had been contained in medication that the Brooklyn-born athlete had been taking since childhood to ease the symptoms of ADHD.

Still, the cloud of doping hanging over sprinting in the States did cast a reflective shadow over Gatlin's victory. Like Crawford, the 22-year-old happens to be guided by Trevor Graham, the sprint coach who has emerged as a pivotal figure in the investigation into the activities of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.

In a memo leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle last month, Graham was revealed as the "mystery" coach who launched the whole inquiry - by sending a syringe containing the hitherto unknown and undetectable 'designer' steroid tetrahydrogestrinone, which has since become known as THG, to the US Anti-Doping Agency.

An Olympic silver medallist with the Jamaican 4x400m relay team in Seoul in 1988, Graham has also been accused of supplying illegal performance-enhancing drugs to his athletes. The man who made Marion Jones the world's fastest woman and who helped Tim Montgomery become the 100m world record holder has strenuously denied the claims.

Not that such matters were of any immediate concern to Mark Lewis-Francis and Jason Gardener, whose failure to negotiate the semi-finals earlier last night made it the first Olympic men's 100m final without a British sprinter since the Montreal Games of 1976.

Lewis-Francis trailed in fifth in the first semi, missing the cut for the final by one place and 0.06sec with a time of 10.28sec. Gardener was also fifth in the second race, clocking 10.12sec, his best time of the season.

It was certainly not the best of days in the Olympic Stadium for Team GB. In the semi-finals of the women's 400m, Christine Ohuruogu, Donna Fraser and Lee McConnell all came to grief, placing fifth, seventh and eighth in their respective races. Mike East, though, advanced to the final of the men's 1500m as the fastest "loser", finishing sixth in his semi-final in 3min 36.46sec.

It was a good day for the hosts; Fani Halkia, a Greek television journalist, was roared to an Olympic record of 52.77sec in the semi-finals of the women's 400m hurdles. And it was an even better day for Sweden.

Having endured 28 years without an Olympic gold from a Swedish-born athlete, they collected a second and third in the space of 24 hours, Stefan Holm (with a 2.36m high jump) and Christian Olsson (with a 17.79m triple jump) following Carolina Kluft's lead from the conclusion to the heptathlon on Saturday.

The silver medal in the high jump went to Matt Hemingway of the US, not the first member of his family to make a name for himself. His grandfather was a cousin of Ernest Hemingway.

The former white-water rafting guide would have taken gold on countback had he cleared his last attempt at 2.36m. But when he clipped the upright, everybody knew for whom the bar rolled.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
The male menopause: those affected can suffer hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, low libido, depression and an increase in body fat, among other symptoms
voicesSo the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Anna Smaill’s debut novel, The Chimes, is a fusion of fantasy and romance
booksMan Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Sport
Ji So-Yun scores the only goal of the game
sport
Arts and Entertainment
One of the Pyongyang posters, the slogan of which reads: ‘Let the exploits of the northern railway conductors shine!’
art
Life and Style
Linguine with mussels and fresh tomatoes
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer