Bolt beaten by Gatlin in Rome
Usain Bolt appear unfazed by the loss he suffered in Rome as he fixes his eye on the World championship.
ROME - Usain Bolt's defeat by Justin Gatlin in the 100 metres at the Rome Diamond League meeting on Thursday is unlikely to cause the Olympic champion too much concern ahead of August's world championships.
American Gatlin, bronze medallist at the London Games after a four-year doping ban, ran 9.94 seconds to edge Bolt by 0.01 in a race that showed the Jamaican has yet to fully recover from the hamstring injury that dogged him earlier in the season.
Bolt's previous defeat over the distance was at last year's Jamaican championships when fans and media were stunned as he was beaten by Yohan Blake only for the world record holder to scorch to the second-fastest time on record of 9.63 in the Olympic final a few weeks later.
The 26-year-old Bolt got a good start in Rome but Gatlin, who also won in Doha and Eugene this season, had moved ahead by halfway and his rival never looked like making up the ground.
"That was ridiculous - a perfect start and then I just cropped off. I think it was the perfect start that threw my game off," six-time Olympic gold medallist Bolt told reporters.
"At the end it just wasn't me - at least I got under 10 seconds," he added, referring to his only other race over 100 metres this season when he ran 10.09 in the Cayman islands last month.
"For me it is just going through the season, putting things together for the world championships (in Moscow). The season is still very early."
Women's Olympic 200 metres champion Allyson Felix also suffered a surprise defeat when she was left trailing down the home straight by Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahoure who won in a national record of 22.36.
Felix, easily identifiable in bright pink shin socks and matching spikes, ran a poor bend and lacked her usual fluidity as she raced to the line in 22.64.
"I am very excited after my victory and the national record is a big bonus for me," Ahoure said.
A number of world leading times for the year were recorded on the track, including Amantle Montsho who beat her own 400 metres best for 2013 by running 49.87.
Ethiopia's Yenew Alamirew smashed the year's best 5,000 metres time, set by Kenyan Edwin Soi at the Diamond League meet in Eugene last week, by almost 10 seconds when he ran 12:54.95.