British athletics legend Coe - a two-time 1500m Olympic champion - had told the BBC on Sunday two-time drugs cheat Gatlin's victory in the sport's most high profile event in London, which was watched by over eight million viewers in Britain, was not the "perfect script".
United States of America took silver in 37.52secs while Japan claimed bronze. The contrast was also striking between the walkabout that had the right Bolt, and the output nearly on the sly and under the whistles of Gatlin, which has put an end to an unbeaten 9 years of Jamaican big competition.
Britain, who came fifth in the Olympics a year ago, had looked in good form when qualifying but they were not expected to challenge Jamaica and the USA.
Ultimately, athletics went backwards on Saturday night, when Bolt had done so much to move things in the right direction.
Bolt has spoken about how the World Championships would be his last races but speculation persists that he may reverse his decision, with this result doing nothing to dampen that.
Running the second leg, Allyson Felix and her teammates crossed first in a season's leading time of 41.84 seconds, beating Britain and Switzerland.
In the women's heats, both nations are also through. Not one, but two overlooked and underappreciated Americans - Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman - withstood what was once Bolt's undeniable late charge. Bolt is now hoping to redeem that for his fans and country tomorrow when he runs for Jamaica in the 4x100m relay at the IAAF 2017 World Championships in London.
Meanwhile, Ristananna Tracey also won a bronze for Jamaica in the women's 400-m hurdles finals.
Provided his Jamaican team-mates escape a mistake in this morning's heats, Bolt will line up for one final swansong at 9.50pm.
Growing a goatee may give him a touch of maturity while he would still give the big innocent grin at the cameras on the starting line, joke with Hero the Hedgehog and flash thumbs-up sign to the crowd and make his trademark pose of shooting off invisible arrows despite the third place finish.
"For me it's hard to be sad because of the energy I am getting from the crowd, I just feel happy and blessed", Bolt said in a trackside interview.
"There are no words to describe how I am feeling".
I HAVE enjoyed watching the best athletes in the world return to London these past few days, in a little reminder of that great summer of sport in 2012. They may win their race, they might come last, but every one of them walks off the track utterly beaming to collect their protein shake from the team physio. He wants to run in the final and has been taking part in relay training here.
Yohan Blake is still doubtful to run for Jamaica in the final as he struggles with injury. His leg on Jamaica's 400-meter relay team will give fans a final look at what has been a glorious history.
Germany won the second heat in 42.34.
Switzerland (42.50) qualified with the fourth fastest time overall while Netherlands (42.64), Brazil (42.77) and Trinidad and Tobago (42.91) completed the final round line-up.
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