Usain Bolt, arguably the greatest sprinter in the history of the sport, clocked 9.98 - second best in the semis to qualify for the finals of the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2017 in London on Saturday. His time was beaten by Christian Coleman who made it across the finish line in 9.97 secs.
The 35-year-old Gatlin, who served a four-year ban reduced from eight for doping from 2006-10, managed to qualify for the finals but not with the most impressive timings at 10.09, while his South African rival Simbine gave a stunner with 10.05 timing. Gatlin was once again jeered by British audiences.
Jamaica's Blake clocks 10.04, England's Prescod makes 100m in 10.05 to qualify for the finals.
Qualifiers on Friday
Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt overcame a “very bad” start to successfully kick off the defence of his world 100m title on Friday, but American arch-rival Justin Gatlin was jeered by the British public.
Bolt, seeking a 12th world title in his swansong season, found himself fifth halfway into the blue riband event before putting on the afterburners to win his heat in 10.07 seconds.
“I stumbled a bit coming out of blocks, I’m not fond of these blocks,” he told the BBC.
“I have to get this together. It’s shaky because when I did the warm up it (the blocks) pushed back. It’s not what I am used to.”
Bolt v Gatlin at the 2012 Olympics at the same London stadium had been billed as ‘good against evil’, given the American’s doping-tainted past, and so it again proved.
Gatlin, the last man to beat Bolt over 100m—by a hundredth of a second in Rome in 2013 -- was met with loud booing and jeering when shown on the big screen before his heat and after he streaked through in a winning time of 10.05sec in his heat.
“It’s not the panto season,” the stadium announcer pleaded to the packed-out 60,000 seater London Stadium as a bemused-looking Gatlin made a sharp exit from the track.
Bolt's last swansong
The 4x100m relay race on August 12, will be Usain Bolt’s last ever professional race, the reigning Olympian announced in 2015.
Usain was initially set to retire after the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, but his sponsor convinced him to make one last effort at the Athletics Championship in London.
"My sponsor has asked me to go on for another year; to 2017 and London," he announced.
"But I'll be doing one event, the 100. I've already discussed it with my coach. I can concentrate on that, and on retiring on a winning note."
He holds the world record in the 4x100m relay, is the first person to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records and is the fastest human alive.
His undefeated records are 9.8 seconds in the 100m, 19.19 seconds in the 200m and 36.84 seconds in the 4x100m.