29 Jun 2015

Gatlin lines up Bolt

2:07 pm on 29 June 2015

The controversial Justin Gatlin set the stage for a world championship showdown with Usain Bolt when he won the 200 metres in a blazing 19.57 seconds at the United States trials in Oregon.

Only four people, including world record holder Bolt, have ever run faster than the 33-year-old, whose previous best was 19.68 seconds.

"I wanted to come out and make a statement, and that's what I did," said the fast starting Gatlin.

"I would say it's the most complete, technically 200m I ever ran," he added.

"A lot of people were asking me what could I run if I ran through the finish line, so obviously I went out there and ran 19.5 so I hope I can do better than that."

 Justin Gatlin had to settle for third to Usain Bolt at the London Olympics in 2012.

Justin Gatlin had to settle for third to Usain Bolt at the London Olympics in 2012. Photo: Photosport

Only Jamaicans Bolt and Yohan Blake and Americans Michael Johnson and Walter Dix have gone faster.

Gatlin, the year's fastest at 100 and 200 and plans to challenge Bolt at both distances in the August world championships in Beijing.

They have not met since 2013 with Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, piling up a two-year unbeaten streak.