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Bolt just edges Gatlin to the line. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Not even the fourth time was the charm for U.S. sprint star Justin Gatlin when it comes to trying to beat Usain Bolt.
Gatlin finished second in the men's 100-meter final at the Rio Games on Sunday night, his time of 9.89 seconds coming up short against Bolt _ who ran a 9.81 to win gold for the third consecutive Olympics.
Gatlin is now 0-4 against Bolt in the 100 finals at either an Olympics or world championships. The only other person with an 0-4 mark in such races is Asafa Powell, Bolt's Jamaican teammate who didn't qualify for the 100 in Rio.
Gatlin was third to Bolt at the 2012 London Games, and second at worlds behind the sprint king in both 2013 and 2015.
But Gatlin sounded far from disappointed Sunday night after the race.
"At the age of 34, to race these young guys and still make the podium feels so good," Gatlin said a few minutes after the final.
Bolt has now taken on 25 different opponents in gold-medal races at a worlds or an Olympics since 2008 _ and beaten them all, including 11 on multiple occasions. The only time he didn't reign supreme was at worlds in 2011, when Bolt actually beat himself by false-starting and getting disqualified from the 100 final.