The Jamaican lived up to his billing as the saviour of athletics as he held off the challenge of Gatlin to win in 9.79 seconds.
The 33-year-old American, twice banned for doping, who has been cast as the sport’s No 1 villain, especially in the wake of the doping scandals of recent weeks, had to settle for silver in 9.80secs.
A Gatlin win had looked likely after the semi-finals, where Gatlin clocked 9.77s and Bolt only scraped a win after an awful start. But the world record holder then found his fastest time of the year to take his tally of individual global titles to ten.
“It was a big deal,” said Bolt. “It definitely means a lot because I’ve been struggling all season.
“It took me a while to discover what was the problem and it’s all held together so I’m just happy. I stumbled a little [in the semi] but my coach told me to forget about it and that when it came to the right time, I’d get it right.”