In his first full season back from drug suspension, Justin Gatlin placed second in the 100 meters at the USA Track and Field Championships and qualified for the American team to compete at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Gatlin was narrowly edged by the fast-finishing Walter Dix over the final meters of the race. Dix finished in 9.94 seconds while Gatlin was just behind in 9.95 seconds. Mike Rodgers claimed the final qualifying position for Worlds in a time of 9.99 seconds.
Pre-race favorite Tyson Gay was unable to run the semifinals earlier on Friday due to a right hip and adductor injury.
Speaking about his emotions after the race, Gatlin said, “Due to the last four years I’ve had so much pent up frustration, sadness and anger that two meters before the finish I let it all out with a roar.”
Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100 meter gold medalist, tested positive for unnaturally high levels of testosterone in 2006 and was levied a four year ban from competition. Gatlin has maintained his innocence through the entire process, claiming massage therapist Christopher Whetstine applied a testosterone cream without his knowledge.
Gatlin has been trained by legendary sprint and hurdles coach Brooks Johnson since his return to the world of track and field last summer.
Watch the 100 meter race featuring Justin Gatlin below: