International Athletics

Gatlin defends mom from podium

2015-08-24 15:06
Justin Gatlin (Getty)
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Bolt bounces back in Beijing

2015-08-24 10:01

Justin Gatlin who? Usain Bolt confirms his status as the king of the 100m sprint!

Beijing - If you heckle Justin Gatlin's mom, he will respond - even if he's in the middle of an awards ceremony.

Standing on the podium after receiving his 100m silver medal on Monday at the world championships, the American sprinter gestured toward a heckler who was bothering his mother in the stands. He scowled and pointed in the direction of the offender.

"I was like, 'Hey, chill out with that. Be a gentleman,'" Gatlin said.

Gatlin has been a controversial figure in the sport since his return from a four-year doping ban in 2010.

After losing to Usain Bolt in a tight race the night before, Gatlin was asked over and over if he thought his loss was good for sprinting. There were some who portrayed his race with Bolt as "Good v Evil."

That, he can handle.

But this, he insisted, crossed the line.

"No one has to talk disrespectful to anybody," Gatlin said. "We're just here to run. They pay tickets to see us run. Let us run and do what we do."

Gatlin made eye contact with his mother just before receiving his medal from IAAF president Lamine Diack. He seemed perturbed and his eyes wandered into the stands as Diack approached to place the medal around his neck.

Once Diack moved past him to give Bolt his gold medal, Gatlin glared at someone and then point with his right finger. He said he could tell the person confronting his mother wasn't being friendly.

"I could see it in my mom's face," Gatlin said. "Because she's my mom."

Gatlin returns to the track on Tuesday for the opening round of the 200m. He is trying to forget about his stumble that cost him a chance at beating Bolt in the 100m and is looking forward to another shot against the powerful Jamaican.

"I am in a good place," Gatlin said. "I feel really excited about the 200m. I think I can do some damage."

Read more on:    iaaf  |  justin gatlin  |  athletics
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