American sprinter Justin Gatlin has beaten Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt in the 100 meters, edging Bolt by one hundredth of a second at a meet in Rome. It's Gatlin's first win over Bolt in the four times the two have raced each other.
The news was excitedly announced by USA Track and Field Thursday, tweeting "He did it!! @justingatlin beat @usainbolt 9.94 #RomeDL."
Gatlin ran in the sixth lane at the Rome Golden Gala, part of the Diamond League series, while Bolt ran in the fourth lane. The two men led the field as they neared the finish line, with Gatlin perfectly timing a lunge of his head and upper body across the white line.
Bolt, 26, who on his active Twitter feed identifies himself as "the most naturally gifted athlete the world has ever seen," holds the world record in the 100 meters at 9.58 seconds, a time he set in 2009. He has won gold in the event at the past two Summer Games.
Bolt has been bothered by hamstring problems this year, but he told reporters before today's race that he was feeling good and that his training was on schedule.
For Gatlin, 31, who won Olympic gold in the 100 meters in 2004 before being suspended for using anabolic steroids, Thursday's win is a decisive step in the comeback that saw him win the bronze medal in the event at last summer's London Olympics.