Justin Gatlin was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Woodham High School
in Pensacola, Florida.
In the fall of 2000, Justin Gatlin arrived at University of Tennessee as a good high school 110 m hurdler. During high school, Justin was recruited by UT assistant Vince Anderson. Anderson had to convince Tennessee head coach Bill Webb that Justin was fast enough to compete at the Southeastern Conference level. After training and competing in UT's program for two years under the guidance of former Tennessee assistant Vince Anderson, Gatlin won six consecutive NCAA titles. In the fall of 2002, Gatlin left Tennessee after his sophomore season to join the professional ranks. Just two years later, he won the gold medal in the 100 m (9.85 s) at the 2004 Summer Olympics, narrowly beating Francis Obikwelu of Portugal and the defending champion Maurice Greene. He also won a bronze medal in a USA sweep of the 200 m race, and a silver medal as a member of the 4 x 100 m relay squad. In the 2005 World Athletics Championships in Helsinki, he again triumphed over 2003 champion Kim Collins, capturing the gold medal in the 100 m.
Gatlin's Olympic 100 m final time is the second fastest in Olympic history, and his fastest recorded 200 m time of 19.86 seconds, although wind-aided, is the fastest mark for a junior (under 20) athlete.
In 2001, Justin Gatlin was banned from international competition for two years after testing positive for amphetamines. Gatlin appealed on the grounds that the positive test had been due to medication that he had been taking for a number of years for attention deficit disorder, with which he was diagnosed as a child. The appeal resulted in an early reinstatement by the IAAF.
On August 7, 2005, Justin Gatlin clocked a 100 m time of 9.88 seconds to win the World Championship in Helsinki. Starting as a favorite and with world record holder Asafa Powell not competing due to injury, Gatlin beat his competitors by the widest margin ever seen at a men's World Championship 100 m to capture the Olympic-World Championship double. Gatlin also won the 200 m, becoming the second person in athletics history to win both sprint distances during a single World Championship (the first was Maurice Greene in 1999). In the 200 m event, American athletes earned the top four places, the first time any country had done so in World Championship athletics history.
On May 12, 2006, Justin Gatlin broke the 100 m world record in the final of the IAAF Super Tour meeting in Doha, Qatar, with a time of 9.76 seconds, beating the previous record of 9.77 set in 2005 by Jamaica's Asafa Powell.
Justin Gatlin is currently living and training in Raleigh, North Carolina where he also attends St. Augustine's College. He is a regular competitor on Spike TV's show Pros vs. Joes, which pits professional athletes against nonprofessionals.
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