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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 August, 2004, 22:16 GMT 23:16 UK
Gatlin one of the good guys

Michael Johnson
BBC Sport summariser and former Olympic champion

Justin Gatlin

The result of the Olympic 100m was not a massive surprise because Justin Gatlin has always had huge talent.

I thought he would be in the mix, but what I didn't know was whether he had enough to beat the big guns.

However, in the final, he proved he is a heavyweight in the division and ran a great race.

He got a very good start - and though his drive phase is not normally great, it was better when it mattered.

Taking nothing away from Gatlin, the fact that the two most talented men on the track, Shawn Crawford and Asafa Powell, self-destructed also somewhat dictated the outcome.

I certainly didn't expect Powell to tighten up as much as he did - he was already leaning several metres from the tape.

He is a very likeable guy - the kind of person you want to root for
Johnson on Gatlin

The contrast between him and Crawford, and Francis Obikwelu who was running in between them and finished with silver, could not have been more marked.

As for Maurice Greene, you have to give him credit for coming out and earning himself the bronze.

Looking ahead, Gatlin can now go into the 200m knowing he is an Olympic champion, and that is sure to give him incredible confidence as well as being an intimidating factor for other athletes.

I said a few weeks ago he could be the face of these Games, given he was running in both the 100m and 200m, and also because he is a very likeable guy - the kind of person you want to root for.

And now, having proved he can handle the pressure of the big stage, he has every chance.

Michael Johnson was talking on BBC Sport's Olympic Grandstand after the race.



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