KINGSTON: Jamaica’s Usain Bolt shook off a “horrible start” to win the 100m at the Racers Grand Prix athletics meeting in 9.88sec, the second-fastest time in the world this year.
“It wasn’t a perfect race, but the good thing was that I won and I came out injury free,” said Bolt, who got away slowly but powered home, catching the field at about 50 meters and celebrating as he got to the line first to the delight of a big crowd at the national stadium in Kingston.
The sprint superstar led three compatriots under 10 seconds in a race run in a wind of one meter per second. Nickel Ashmeade and Yohan Blake were both timed in 9.94sec, with Asafa Powell finishing in 9.98.
The race was only the fourth time that Bolt, former world record holder Powell and 2011 world champion Blake have clashed in Kingston and more than 30,000 fans turned out for the warm up for Jamaica’s Olympic trials later this month.
Bolt improved on the 9.98sec he posted in Ostrava on May 20.
With the Rio Games less than two months away, Bolt moved ahead of US rival Justin Gatlin on the 2016 world list, the American owning a time of 9.93 that puts him fourth-fastest in the world this year.
World and Olympic champion Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce won the women’s 100m in a subdued 11.09sec, coming back from a toe injury that has hampered training.
READY TO RETURN GOLD
Bolt says he is “heartbroken” but prepared to give up his 4x100m relay gold from the 2008 Beijing Games after team-mate Nesta Carter reportedly tested positive for a banned stimulant. “Things happen in life, if it’s confirmed or whatever and I need to give back my gold medal, it’s not a problem to me.”