Banned sprinter Justin Gatlin wins 100m final in Qatar
By Luke Phillips
The Sunday Telegraph
May 13, 2012
Back on track: Justin Gatlin (L) and Asafa Powell compete in the men's 100m at the IAAF Diamond League in Qatar.
Picture: Karim Jaafar. Source: AFP
JUSTIN Gatlin continued his remarkable rehabilitation from a four-year drug ban with a blistering 9.87sec to win the 100m at the opening leg of the 14-meet Diamond League yesterday morning in Qatar.
Allyson Felix produced a stunning upset in the women's 100m, the American three-time world 200m champion clocking 10.92sec to beat Jamaican rivals Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. "It was very good to get one over Campbell-Brown, especially in the 100m," beamed Felix, who enjoys the remarkable record of never having lost in Doha in eight appearances.
Felix's compatriot LaShawn Merritt, the Olympic champion who served a 21-month doping ban, bagged the 400m in 44.19sec, while fellow American Walter Dix, the double world silver sprint medallist, wrapped up the 200m in 20.02sec.
But it was 2004 Olympic 100m gold medallist Gatlin who hogged the early limelight after he pipped Asafa Powell by a head and insisted he had the top of the podium in London firmly in his sights.
Powell, Jamaica's former world record-holder, made a flying start but Gatlin stuck with him and came through at the end.
"You've got to take track and field as a soap opera with spikes on," Gatlin said of his return to the circuit amid a mixed welcome back from fans and pundits.
"Everybody wants to see great competition. They've watched the Usain Bolt show for a couple of years.
"They want to see someone else in the mix and I'm happy to step up and be in the mix as well.
"I want everyone to know Justin Gatlin is back and I want the Olympic title."
In temperatures above 35C and high humidity, David Rudisha then led a strong Kenyan contingent to a series of top-notch middle-distance performances that even deprived star Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele of a winning start to the season.
Bekele laboured to seventh in a race dominated by Kenyan duo Augustine Choge and Eliud Kipchoge.
Bekele, coming back from two years of nagging calf and knee injuries and admittedly training at under 100 per cent, was quick to blame his stop-start training regimen.
Last edited by Admin on Mon May 14, 2012 8:27 am; edited 1 time in total