Rarely can a win have been greeted with such universal euphoria. Usain Bolt, in the words of BBC commentator Steve Cram, had “saved his sport”.
The adulation was not merely a celebration of the greatest sprinter of all-time, it was wide-spread relief that a two-time drug cheat had been denied victory by one hundredth of a second, with Justin Gatlin crossing the line in 9.80 seconds to take silver behind Bolt’s time of 9.79.
Gatlin headed into the 100m World Championship final as the odds-on favourite, having dominated the sport in 2014 and 2015, with Bolt only fit to run the distance three times this season before heading to China.
Newly appointed head of the IAAF governing body, Sebastian Coe, had admitted that the thought of the 33 year-old American taking gold in Beijing made him feel “queasy”, whilst others seethed that a man who had seemingly not learned from past mistakes was allowed to compete on this stage at all.
Either way, it made for intoxicating theatre; good versus evil – Bolt, a man struggling for technique and fitness, the only one that could deny the corrupt Gatlin, it was the only story in town.
A gaggle of celebrities (do they come in gaggles?) and parody celebrities took to the Twitter-sphere to share their approval at the result. Here are a few of the best;
Clean living, drug free and adored by all. The best there is… The best there ever will be. I genuinely am the #UsainBolt of the rock world.
— Liam Gallagher (@IiamgaIlagher) August 23, 2015
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 23, 2015
Is Usain Bolt a real-life Superman? Should people lay off Justin Gatlin? Let us know in the comment section below!