Gatlin's world record corrected to 9.77

Updated: May 17, 2006, 9:50 AM ET

(Adds IAAF quotes, paras 6-9)

PARIS, May 17 - Justin Gatlin's 100 metres world record of 9.76 seconds has been corrected to 9.77, equalling the previous mark, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said on Wednesday.

The IAAF was informed of an error in the reading of the result by the company responsible for timing at Friday's meeting in Doha.

Based on his time recorded after winning the race, Gatlin ran 9.766 seconds, which was announced as a world record 9.76, an IAAF statement read.

According to IAAF rules, this should have been rounded up to 9.77. Gatlin's time, pending ratification, equals the record set by Jamaica's Asafa Powell in Athens on June 14 last year.

The IAAF said the error had been spotted fairly early in the record ratification process which gives member federations one month to submit a form.

"Records are not ratified for various reasons. The problem here was it was a mistake, but better we admit that," IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said.

"Obviously we're disappointed for Justin Gatlin but he's talented enough to come right back and break it again."

World and Olympic champion Gatlin announced he had his sights set on the world record earlier this month after clocking 9.95 seconds in his first outing of the season in Osaka.

"This is just more incentive for Justin to go out and break the world record again officially," his agent Renaldo Nehemiah told Reuters from his home in Reston, Virginia.

"He is in excellent shape for this time of the year. That bodes well for him."

American Gatlin and Powell, who has also run 9.95 this year, are due to clash at a grand prix meeting in Gateshead, England on June 11.

The pair last met on the track in London in July 2005 when Powell pulled up with a groin problem that put paid to his season.

Gatlin beat Powell in their only other meeting last year even though both clocked a wind-assisted time of 9.84.

Gatlin's next race is over 100 metres on Sunday, May 28 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

(Additional reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina)

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