Usain Bolt has not suffered a major loss since 2011. That all changed Thursday after he lost to the United States’ Justin Gatlin by one hundredth of a second during a 100 meter dash at the Golden Gala meet, according to the Associated Press.
The race, which took place at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, was viewed by 52,305 people.
Gatlin finished the race in 9.94 seconds while Bolt was just behind him at 9.95. Coming in third was France’s Jimmy Vicault, finishing the race in 10.02 seconds.
After winning, Gatlin did not overtly celebrate the victory. He is 5-0 in 100 meter dashes for 2013.
Bolt put his hands over his face for just a few moments but then saluted the crowd.
"That was ridiculous -- a perfect start and then I just cropped off," said Bolt "I think it was this perfect start that threw my game off. I have to do more strength work, I guess. I think it needs just some time to get it all back together. At the end it was just not me.
Bolt, who holds the world record for the fastest 100-meter dash, did not get off to the best of starts and had to work to catch up to Gatlin.
"At least I got under 10 seconds," Bolt said. "My legs did not feel the energy. At 50 meters I had some problems, but the rest of the race was not bad."
The Jamaican track star won earlier this year in the Cayman Islands against his training partner Kemar Bailey-Cole. They both finished with a time of 10.09 seconds even though Bolt won in a photo finish. Bolt was working through a hamstring injury at the time.
"For me it is just going through the season," he said. "Put things together for the world championships. The season is still very early."
Gatlin has won three times this year in Diamond League races. He won with a 9.97 in Doha, Qatar and with a 9.88 (with a little help from the wind) in Eugene, Ore. Gatlin has had to rebuild his career ever since he tested positive for drugs and was banned for four years in 2006.
In the 2012 Olympic final he finished third with a 9.79 time. Bolt won with a 9.63. Jamaica’s Yohan Blake came in second with a 9.75. The United States’ Tyson Gay finished in fourth with a 9.80.
Bolt’s next race is a 200 in Olso, Norway. He will then go back to his home country for the Jamaican championships. Gatlin will participate in U.S. trails later this month.