Usain Bolt powered to victory in the 200 metres final at the World Championships to complete a sprint double in Beijing. The Jamaican renewed his rivalry with Justin Gatlin and burst clear of the second-placed American to secure the gold medal in 19.55 seconds, which was the fastest time of the year.
South Africa’s Anaso Jobodwana took bronze with a national record of 19.87, while Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes ran a personal best of 20.02 to claim a creditable fifth place finish.
Only a hundredth of a second had separated Bolt from Gatlin in the 100m final, with the Jamaican clinging onto his crown, and many expected the longer distance to be decided by another razor-thin margin.
But Bolt charged out of the blocks, stretching his lead with a solid bend, and could even pump his fists in celebration while finishing 0.19 secs ahead of Gatlin, who took silver in 19.74 seconds.
The 29-year-old had only run one race at 200m coming into the competition after an injury disrupted season, but swept away any doubts about his dominance after winning a record-extending 10th world championship gold medal.
“It was a pleasure to come here and to dominate again and show the world I’m the best,” he told Sky Sports News HQ.
“It means a lot to me, 200 metres is my favourite event, so I’m continuing adding to my greatness and I’ll continue adding to it next season as well.
“I feel really good, but I just came out here to win and prove to the world that I’m the greatest and that’s what I did.
“Gatlin is definitely a good competitor. He really pushed me this season to really step my game up and to be at my best.
“I’m never worried when I come to a championship, because I know I’ll always be at my best and always do my greatest.”
Gatlin, who has twice been banned for taking prohibited substances, played down claims that he had been angered by negative reporting from the British media.
“It was never was a point of me to shut anyone up, it was a point of me to go out and do my job,” said Gatlin. “I train all year long to be able to come out here, get to the finals of the 100, get to the finals of the 200.
“When I get here I never read any of the media, I just focus on being a runner for my country.”
Hughes was in contention for a bronze medal within the closing 100 metres, but could not hold off the onrushing Jobodwana, who edged out Panama’s Alonso Edward by just two-thousandths of a second.
“I came out, I gave it my best. I was feeling my back so that’s how come I wasn’t able to give it the way I wanted to,” Hughes told the BBC.
“It was a great experience running beside of Bolt in this. I’ll get back, don’t worry about it.
“Usain Bolt is a legend. Myself, I even doubted him a bit, but Bolt is phenomenal. He knows what to do when it comes to major championships, so credit to him and congratulations.”