Bolt streaks to victory
Usain Bolt breathed new life back into the 100 metres by defeating two-time former drug cheat Justin Gatlin to take gold at the World Championships in Moscow.
The world record holder defied the pouring rain to blaze to victory on a drenched Luzhniki Stadium track in 9.77 seconds, his best time of the year.
He held off the challenge of Gatlin, who clocked 9.85secs, with Bolt's fellow Jamaican Nesta Carter getting bronze in 9.95s.
Bolt performed all his customary pre-race preening, pretending to hold up an umbrella, all part of the show from the born entertainer but when it came to the crunch he was, as always, ice cold.
He was out of the blocks well and, just as it looked as if Gatlin, in the lane inside him, might be closing, he pulled clear to reclaim the title he lost after that sensational false start in the final in Daegu two years ago.
Bolt told Radio Five Live: "It's always good, I'm happy. I came with one aim - to regain my title and I did that so it's good.
"When I am in good shape I know what I can do. For me personally from the semis I didn't feel 100 per cent - my legs felt sore.
"I was never worried - I know what I am capable of. After the semis I knew who was capable of running faster.
"I knew Gatlin would be the biggest rival, but as long as I had him covered it was okay."
This final had been headed for a mouthwatering showdown between Bolt and a rejuvenated Tyson Gay, before the latter's failed drug test sent shock waves through athletics. Former world record holder Asafa Powell's failed test was confirmed hours later and the sport was on its knees.
So it was perhaps apt that tonight's race was a head-to-head between Bolt, the saviour of the sport, and Gatlin, who has twice served drug bans, including a four-year suspension, which ended in 2010.
The American had beaten Bolt by a whisker at a Diamond League meeting in Rome at the start of the season, but the world stage is where the world record holder feels at home.
Lightning flashed overhead ahead of the final, but, with Bob Marley's 'Three Little Birds' playing before they took to their blocks, Bolt delivered.
On the recent drug scandal, Bolt added: "I keep telling people I try to keep the sport open. I want to distract people away from the bad things."
Bolt had sauntered through his semi-final in 9.92 earlier tonight and his final time was impressive given the terrible conditions.
There were four Jamaicans in top five, with Kemar Bailey-Cole fourth in 9.98 and Nickel Ashmeade fifth in the same time.
It is difficult to imagine what the next serving from a "living legend", as Bolt branded himself after his triple London 2012 triumph, will be, but everyone's favourite Jamaican is on his way there.
By his own stratospheric standards, Bolt has between below par this summer, his best time the 9.85 he ran to win the London Anniversary Games, on the back of a start he branded "horrifying".
He is, though, quite simply on another level to his competition when it matters, and it showed.
Gatlin admitted he was too good.
He said: "I'm getting closer, I'm very happy with my race.
"The last 30m I got long. In Rome I was able to step down all my steps and do my race which I didn't do tonight.
"He (Bolt) has been working on his start - in Rome he had the best reaction out of everybody and he is 6ft 5in. I had to make sure I was beating him to 50m.
"We saw the lightning and thunder in the warm up and we said that normally they would postpone this, but it is Moscow and Russia and they wanted this."
Elsewhere, Olympic finalist Andrew Osagie produced a season's best of 1:44.85 for fourth place to make the 800m final, but Michael Rimmer failed to progress from his semi-final.
Nigel Levine reached the men's 400m semi-finals with a comfortable fourth-place finish in 45.41s, while William Sharman made the same stage of the men's 110m hurdles.