Bolt Claims 100m in Lausanne
Running with an Achilles’ tendon injury that has troubled him in the lead-up to the 2010 season, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt comfortably clocked in at 9,82 in the 100 metre race at the IAAF Diamond League Meeting in Lausanne on Thursday.
The time, the fastest 100m result of the season, is identical to fellow Jamaican sprinter Afasa Powell’s winning time in Rome on June 10.
Powell and Bolt are set to clash on the track several times this season, beginning next week in Paris, where another leg of the Diamond League Meetings is taking place.
In hot and humid conditions, Bolt beat fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake and Churandy Martina of the Netherlands Antilles in Lausanne. Blake and Martina clocked 9,96 and 10,16 respectively.
Bolt, who continues to amaze fans and experts alike, had been forced to pull out of the 200m race in Lausanne due to his troubled Achilles. However, he had decided to go ahead on the shorter distance, delivering the kind of entertaining and mesmerizing performance fans have come to accept.
Later admitting to have been “slightly” in pain from his injury, Bolt jogged across the finish line to record the fifth fastest 100m race of all time. The performance is only an indicator of things to come for Bolt this season, with the race in Paris set to be his first real challenge.
“It’s going to be something big,” Bolt told reporters of next week’s encounter with Powell.
The Crowd-pleaser had danced onto the track ahead of the race, very much at ease with the task ahead of him. After the race, Bolt admitted to having been energized by the music played inside the stadium.
“I was a little sleepy but then they played Billy Jean and that got me going,” the humorous Bolt told Swedish channel SVT.
“It felt OK during the warm-up and even better once I got out here. Hopefully I can continue to train and be myself again by the end of the season,” he added.
With the IAAF World Championships taking place next year, the pursuit of the world records will drive the Jamaican sprinter during the 2010 season. Having claimed both the 100m and 200m records at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009, Bolt faces significant competition from Powell and US sprinter Tyson Gay.
The three met in the final in Berlin, where Bolt stunned spectators by crossing the finish line at 9.58 – an astonishing bettering of Gay’s previous record at 9.69.
Four days later, Bolt completed the 200m final, beating Michael Johnson’s incredible 1996 world record of 19.32 in the process. Abandoning his jogging for a full-on sprint across the finish line, Bolt completed the race in 19.19 seconds.
Powell, who has failed to defeat Bolt in the important races over the last few seasons, has told the press he feels stronger than ever in 2010.
"I'm 100 per cent sure my fastest times are still to come," he said in June, after delivering the convincing performance in Rome.
Recognizing Bolt’s dominance of the short sprints, Powell believes his, and others’, days will come. "We have one person dominating now, but there's no superman in the world,” he said.
"Everybody is the same unless they're doing something we don't know about. If you really believe in yourself and work hard, you can achieve. I am thankful for what Usain has done because it has inspired me.”
27-year-old Powell, who held the 100m world record between 2005 and 2008, will look to convince non-believers throughout the current season, next week’s duel with Bold being the first opportunity to do so.