August 5 may eventually be a day of celebration for Justin Gatlin’s family, as that was the day when the forgotten son reclaimed his honour in the world of sports. The sporting public was denied a fairytale ending to Usain Bolt’s solo 100m career when American, Justin Gatlin took gold in the 2017 World Championship final.
Justin Gatlin won the 100 meters in a time of 9.92 seconds. Usain Bolt, far right, finished third in 9.95, a hundredth of a second behind American Christian Coleman who finished in 9.94secs. The shocked crowd, however, did not let the disappointment get the best of them as they cheered on for the fastest man Usain Bolt.
The crowd instead, booed the controversial athlete who has been banned twice for doping offences. Though his rare defeat at London Stadium was deflating, Usain Bolt’s career has been a very smooth one -very rare for a charismatic athlete reigning at a time when track and field have been buffeted by doping and credibility crises.
But how much do you know the record breaker who left mouths agape on August 5, 2017? scroll down to find out more about American athlete Justin Gatlin.
It will surely interest you to know that the 2004 Olympic champion is some years ahead of the Jamaican. Gatlin was born February 10, 1982, (age 35) while eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt was born 21 August 1986 (age 30). However, the American has given no hint regarding a possible retirement. The time indeed has come for Gatlin who has been plagued with doping bans, to prove himself once again.
Gatlin was born on 10th February 1982. He went to Woodham High School located in Pensacola, Florida. Justin enrolled at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 2000.
After he gained admission as a good 100m hurdler, his coaches Bill Webb and Vince Anderson saw his potential and made him a sprinter. The second fastest man then went on to win six NCAA titles successively. In 2002, Gatlin left the university and became a professional afterwards.
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While it sounds cliché to say that Justin Gatlin has been banned several times for doping offences, not everyone knows the actual offences or the specific durations of the respective doping bans. Gatlin was banned for two years in 2001 from international competition after testing positive for amphetamines. This was despite his appeal that it was as a result of medications he had been taking since his childhood when he was diagnosed attention deficit disorder.
Later in 2006, Gatlin also tested positive in another doping test. He tested positive for testosterone – performance-enhancing drug, after a relay race on April 22, 2006. The 35-year-old was issued with an eight-year ban from track and field; which he accepted to avoid a lifetime ban. in exchange for his cooperation with the doping authorities.
However, Gatlin appealed against the ban, after which an arbitration panel reduced it to four years at a hearing in December 2007. His appeal had been considered due to his cooperation with the doping authorities, as well as the circumstances relating to his first offence.
When it comes to sprinting, Gatlin and Bolt are the most common names to get thrown around. Gatlin won the gold in 2004 where Bolt grabbed six gold medals for sprinting in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. It may surprise you to know that Bolt’s defeat at the 2017 World Championship was not his first.
On June 6, 2013, Gatlin who had returned from his ban in 2010, beat world record holder Usain Bolt by one-hundredth of a second to win the 100 metres at the Golden Gala meet in Rome, Italy. And at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics, he also beat Usain Bolt by winning gold with a time of 9.92 seconds.
Time for a brief look into the personal life of the second fastest man. Justin Gatlin’s net worth is estimated to be $1 million, which is quite attractive for his status.
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