Gatlin makes a statement, even at age 33

Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:52pm EDT
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By Gene Cherry

EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) - Somehow Justin Gatlin keeps getting faster and faster.

Five years after completing a four-year doping ban that would have ended the career of most sprinters, the controversial American unloaded an eye-popping 19.57 seconds in the 200 metres at the U.S. world championships trials on Sunday.

At age 33.

Only four men, including world record holder Usain Bolt (19.19), have ever run faster.

Gatlin's coach, Dennis Mitchell, had told him to just go out and make the American team for Beijing by finishing in the top three.

But Gatlin had other ideas.

"I wanted to go out and make a statement, and that's what I did," he said.

A fast start and a solid run around the bend, and he was gone.   Continued...

Justin Gatlin poses with a United States flag after winning the 200m in a meet record 19.57 in the 2015 USA Championships at  Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports