Bolt rules Britannia again as fastest man on the planet sprints to victory in 9.85sec, at Olympics Anniversary Games
Usain Bolt is getting quicker. The six-time Olympic champion ran 9.85sec, his fastest time this season, to win the men’s 100m at the Anniversary Games on Friday night.
It was a technically poor run from the Jamaican, who laboured out of the blocks before powering through in the last 40 metres to beat Michael Rodgers and Nesta Carter into second and third.
But it was the result athletics needed after a torrid fortnight, and a performance the packed Olympic Stadium certainly wanted to see.
Bolt was back in London: winning, running a barefoot lap of honour and pulling his famous ‘Lightning Bolt’ pose on the finish line. This guy certainly knows how to put on a show.
The 26-year-old had entered the stadium on a rocket before the action started, looking particularly cool and relaxed in his sunglasses. If there were any lingering doubts as to who the star attraction was on Friday night, this surely dispelled them. It is desperately unfair on the other elite athletes but Friday night really did feel like a countdown to ‘Bolt time’. Thankfully, however, the big man delivered.
‘The crowd here is unbelievable,’ said Bolt. ‘They’re wonderful. It’s good to be back here. I’ve got a lot of love for this stadium and this crowd. For the first time in a long while I was slightly nervous. I knew it was going to be a big crowd but when I got out there I saw that it was ram-packed and the energy was still like the Olympics.
‘The start was horrifying for me but I think it’s just race rust and I just need to get a few races in. I’m feeling good. It was nice to get the win and I’m confident going into Moscow.’
James Dasaolu, who became the second quickest Briton of all time by running 9.91 a fortnight ago, withdrew from the men’s 100m ‘A’ race less than 10 minutes before the gun, citing feeling a tight hip flexor. Although Dasaolu’s priority is next month’s World Championships, he may also have been unwilling to show his hand too early against the fastest man in history. The Briton, 25, had been drawn next to Bolt in lane four, after all.
There was another quick time in the men’s 200m as Bolt’s compatriot Warren Weir, the Olympic bronze medallist, stormed to victory in 19.89, with fellow Jamaican Jason Young also dipping under the 20-second barrier in 19.99.
But there was disappointment for the British trio of Richard Kilty, James Ellington and Delano Williams who, perhaps hampered by their tight inside-lane draws, occupied the last three places.
Adam Gemili will run for Great Britain in the 200m in Moscow but has been overlooked for the 100m after failing to run the ‘A’ qualification standard. The 19-year-old has insisted this is all part of his plan but he got the better of Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, who was selected ahead of him for the 100m at the World Championships, on Friday night.
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