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WORLD SPORT

Gatlin loses his 100 meters record

story.powell.gi.jpg
Powell set the record in Athens in June 2005.

PARIS, France -- Justin Gatlin has been deprived of his 100 meters world record, because of a timing error, the International Association of Athletics Federations announced in Paris on Wednesday.

Gatlin was timed at 9.76secs at an IAAF GP meeting in Doha on May 12, a mark one-hundredths of a second faster than the existing best set by Asafa Powell in 2005.

But the IAAF said the actual timing for the American was 9.766 seconds which should have been rounded up to 9.77 - meaning he shares the record.

"Therefore, Gatlin's time will now be adjusted to 9.77, and pending ratification, will equal the previous 100m world record of Asafa Powell set in 2005," the IAAF said in a statement.

The IAAF said it acted after being informed of the error by Tissot Timing. The error had been spotted fairly early in the record ratification process which gives member federations one month to submit a form.

"Records are not ratified for various reasons. The problem here was it was a mistake, but better we admit that," IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said.

"Obviously we're disappointed for Justin Gatlin but he's talented enough to come right back and break it again."

The 24-year-old American sprinter received wide acclaim after been credited with breaking the record Friday -- giving him the unofficial title of the world's fastest human.

Perfect race

"This was a perfect race," Gatlin said then. "I am a competitor and I promised I would get the world record and I have done it. ... Now I can say I'm the fastest in the world, and it feels great."

Gatlin is the reigning Olympic and world champion in the 100 meters.

When Powell set the record last year, he bettered the mark of 9.79 set by Maurice Greene in Athens in June 1999.

Tim Montgomery's mark of 9.78, set in Paris in 2002, was wiped off the books when he was suspended for two years based on information uncovered in the BALCO doping scandal.

Gatlin's previous best was the 9.85 he ran in winning the Olympic gold in Athens in 2004. His time was 9.88 when he won the world title last year in Helsinki, Finland. He also won the world 200 meters title.

Gatlin and Powell will go head-to-head for the first time this season at the Gateshead Grand Prix on 11 June.

They last met on the track at the London Grand Prix last July, Gatlin cruising to victory as Powell pulled up with a groin injury which also kept him out of the world championships.

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