Olympic silver medalist Justin Gatlin stormed to the lead in the final 20 meters and defeated favored youngster Christian Coleman in the 100 meters final at the US nationals/world championships trials on Friday.
Gatlin, 35, claimed the victory in 9.95 seconds in his best performance of an injury-plagued season.
Coleman, 21, clocked 9.98 for second with another newcomer Chris Belcher, 23, running 10.06 to complete the U.S. team for August’s world championships in London.
“It was a fighting moment,” Gatlin said. “It wasn’t the spectacular times that you have seen me run in the last couple of years but it was a time where I needed to fight.”
The victory earned Gatlin a chance to compete against rival and world record holder Usain Bolt one more time.
The Jamaican is retiring after the 100 meters at the world championships.
Coleman, who has the year’s fastest time of 9.82 seconds, said his reaching for the finish line caused him to lose momentum in the side-by-side race with Gatlin, his mentor.
“Up until the lean it could have gone either way,” said Coleman, whose reported million-dollar sponsorship deal was announced on Friday.