Beijing: Sprint legend Usain Bolt has described his come-from-behind victory in the 100 metres of the athletics World Championships as the "hardest race" of his scintillating career.
Bolt powered back to edge controversial rival Justin Gatlin on the line, after a shaky start, to secure victory in a season-best 9.79 seconds on Sunday, reports CMC.
"This was definitely my hardest race," said the 29- year-old Jamaican who was out of action for six weeks this year with pelvic joint pain.
"I've been through a lot this season and Justin's been running great and showing up fast times."
Bolt entered the meet struggling for form after battling injuries all season and only managed a few competitive times while Gatlin has been producing several fast times this year.
The win was Bolt's ninth world title as he broke Gatlin's 28- race winning streak and paid homage to his German-based doctor, Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt, for his recovery, describing him as "a lifesaver".
"I’ve learned over the years that when Justin Gatlin comes to a championship, he always shows up. I knew that if I came here to win I’d have to run a great race,” Bolt added.
“I’ve been struggling up and down, so for me to come together at the right time, it's a great victory. It's definitely number one when it comes to competition."
Gatlin, unbeaten since August 2013, have been a controversial figure having served a year’s ban in 2001 and then sat out 2006- 2010 after a positive testosterone test.
Bolt was quick to side-stepped reporters' questions about the significance of his victory over Gatlin in the fight to stop athletes from using illegal drugs.
"That's for you guys to write," he told reporters.
"For me, I came here to add to my legendary status and to win and continue my championship rise."