Justin Gatlin Beats Usain Bolt in 100-Meter Dash at IAAF Diamond League Series

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJune 6, 2013

Apparently Usain Bolt is human after all. 

At the Golden Gala leg of the IAAF Diamond League series on Thursday, the world's most decorated sprinter was outdone by American Justin Gatlin in his own specialty—the 100-meter dash. 

Here's a look at the entire race from Rome:

Gatlin finished with a time of 9.94 seconds, while Bolt, who said that his good start "threw him off," settled for second place at 9.95.

Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut finished third with a personal best of 10.02, and American Michael Rodgers crossed the finish line just behind at 10.04.    

It's obviously not yet time to remove Bolt's crown as the best sprinter in the world, but this is a significant result nonetheless. Any time the world-record holder—who took gold in this event at the 2009 World Championships and at the last two Olympic Games—bows in defeat, it's worth paying attention to. 

Gatlin, who earned gold in the 100 in the 2004 Olympic Games and then infamously received a four-year ban from athletics in 2006 after testing positive for excessive testosterone, is proving that he is back as one of the world's best. 

The 31-year-old finished third in London last year, and this win, although at a smaller event, has his momentum soaring with just a few months until August's World Championships in Moscow. 

Bolt will of course still be the favorite when those games roll around, but the world now knows he is beatable in the 100. 

That should make the World Championships very intriguing.