Justin Gatlin won the 100 meters in 9.88 seconds at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore.
EUGENE, Ore. — Justin Gatlin defied his age Saturday at the Prefontaine Classic.
Gatlin won the 100 meters at the Diamond League meet in a wind-aided time of 9.88 seconds, besting fellow Americans Michael Rodgers and Ryan Bailey.
The 31-year old, who won the bronze medal last year at the London Games, joked afterward: “I just age like wine.”
Gatlin won the Olympic gold medal at the Athens Games but his promising career was derailed in 2006 by a positive drug test that led to a four-year ban. He has worked to repair his past and was the defending champion at the Prefontaine, winning last year in a tuneup for the U.S. Olympic trials.
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“I felt like I had a pretty good start, and I brought it home pretty good,” Gatlin said.
“Last year, my 20 meters before the finish line wasn’t as strong as I wanted it to be. That’s what we’ve been working on.”
Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the women’s 100 in 10.71. American Allyson Felix settled for seventh.
“I still have some work to do,” said Felix, who said she is working to get ready for the U.S. championships in Des Moines, Iowa, later this month.
Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi won the 800 in 1:56.72, a meet record and a world best this season.
Beijing Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt of the United States won the men’s 400 in 44.32, and Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade ran the 200 in 20.14.
Kenyans finished one-two in the Bowerman Mile. Silas Kiplagat won in 3:49.48, the best time in the world this year, and Asbel Kiprop was second in 3:49.53.