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Usain Bolt on timing of 100-meter final: 'It was really stupid'

RIO DE JANEIRO — It was not just that the history-making 100-meter men’s sprint started at 10:25 p.m. local time. That made it a bit more challenging for the men in the race. But worse than that was the way the race’s semifinals were structured — there was so little time between those qualifying races and the 100-meter final itself that the runners said it cost them seconds off their times. MORE: Usain Bolt has slowed, but he's still outrunning the world Usain Bolt, who took his third straight Olympic gold in the race, was the most outspoken. “It was very hard to run fast because the turnaround was really, really, really short,” he said after the race. “It was ridiculous. I felt so good in the semifinals. I thought it could have been a fast finals. But by the time you get back and relax, it is time to go back out. It was really stupid. I don’t know who decided that. It was really stupid. That’s why the race was slow. There is no way to come back around and run fast times with that turnaround. It was hard.” The three semis were scheduled for 9 p.m., 9:07 p.m. and 9:14 p.m. Bolt and Andre DeGrasse — the bronze winner — were in the second semifinal. Justin Gatlin was in the third one. MORE: Best photos from Day 9 in Rio “It was such a short turnaround for me, from my semifinals,” Gatlin said. “Once we got back, we only had 30 minutes to get back and get ready for the finals. … I was tired, but I gave it all I can in those finals.” Bolt, too, conceded that the timing caused him some fatigue — a rarity for him. “I was tired after 100 meters,” Bolt said. “I am never tired after 100 meters.”