Usain Bolt wins the men's 200 // Getty Images

Usain Bolt wins the men's 200 // Getty Images

Track and field

Rivals, respect: Bolt comes up big, again, in 200

BEIJING — Usain Bolt defeated Justin Gatlin in the men’s 200 Thursday night at the 2015 world track and field championships, running the best time in the world this year, 19.55 seconds, to win hands-down.

If the result of this big-time showdown had been the other way around, if Gatlin had won, would earthquakes and tsunamis roil the planet? Would sinkholes swallow up large towns? Meteors flash across the sky?

Botswana's Isaac Makwala after the 400 semis // Getty Images

Botswana's Isaac Makwala after the 400 semis // Getty Images

Track and field

Red, white and maybe feeling blue?

BEIJING — Coming into these 2015 track and field world championships, it looked for — and to —  all the world like this could be the meet when the American team finally reached that elusive 30-total medal count.

With the meet now at its (just-past) halfway point, that looks exceedingly unlikely. The question now is more fundamental: is this 2015 performance a blip or a precursor for next year’s Rio 2016 Summer Games and, indeed, beyond?

Justin Gatlin after his 200 heat // Getty Images

Justin Gatlin after his 200 heat // Getty Images

Track and field

Cut Justin Gatlin some slack

BEIJING — Dear friends and colleagues in the media, especially many of you in the British press: back off. Cut Justin Gatlin some real slack.

Instead of insight and the pursuit of the truth, what far too many of you have delivered instead is a simplistic caricature of events amid the 2015 world track and field championships that, regrettably, has led to the capacity to incite.

The master. Ezekiel Kemboi, leads the Kenyan continent to the line // Getty Images

The master. Ezekiel Kemboi, leads the Kenyan continent to the line // Getty Images

Track and field

Kenya super, US again kryptonite in steeple

BEIJING — Amid keen anticipation that this would finally be the year an American man would medal in the steeplechase at the world championships, Evan Jager headed into the bell lap in the lead.

And then came a fleet of Kenyans. Jager could not keep up. The Kenyans went 1-2-3-4, the master Ezekiel Kemboi winning in 8:11.28.

Usain Bolt crosses just ahead of a flailing Justin Gatlin // Getty Images

Usain Bolt crosses just ahead of a flailing Justin Gatlin // Getty Images

Track and field

Usain Bolt: still the 100 king

BEIJING — Usain Bolt did Sunday night what Usain Bolt does best, winning the men’s 100 meters at the 2015 world track and field championships, crossing just one-hundredth of a second in front of Justin Gatlin.

This was not, for the record, a morality play. This was, simply, an excellent race.