Usain Bolt was beaten into second place by America’s Christian Coleman in his 100m semi-final at the World Athletics Championships, but still qualified for the final in 9.98 seconds.
The 30-year-old ran in the third of three semi-finals after rivals Yohan Blake and Justin Gatlin had earlier progressed to the final, along with Britain’s Reece Prescod.
There were concerns over Bolt’s form going into the tournament following some lacklustre displays earlier in the season. But a strong finish in Friday’s heat suggested that the eight-time Olympic gold medallist was still the clear favourite to win gold in London.
But a stunned crowd inside the London Stadium in Stratford were left wondering whether Bolt might finally be beaten in a major final as he struggled into second place in a competitive semi.
USA’s Coleman exploded out of the blocks and glanced across at Bolt as he crossed the line, letting the main man know that he has some serious competition to finish his career with another gold medal.
The defeat is the first time in four years that Bolt has been beaten on the track, despite 9.98 being only the second time this season that he has dipped under 10 seconds.
The final will be the final act of Saturday night’s session in London, and will be Bolt’s final ever solo race. Next weekend’s relay final is set to be the Jamaican’s final appearance on the track before retiring.