x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Bolt runs fastest 100 of year

Jamaican surges past rivals to clock 9.86 seconds despite a slow start in his first big race of the season in South Korea.

Usain Bolt eases up as he crosses the finishing line in South Korea yesteday.
Usain Bolt eases up as he crosses the finishing line in South Korea yesteday.

Usain Bolt, the world and Olympic 100 metres champion, set the fastest official time of the year so far in his first big race of the 2010 season in South Korea yesterday. The Jamaican made a slow start at the Pre-Championships meeting in Daegu, but recovered to power away from the rest of the field to claim victory in an impressive time of 9.86secs.

Bolt's compatriot Michael Frater was second, but he was almost three tenths of a second slower than his countryman in a time of 10.15secs. Mike Rodgers of America was third ahead of Trell Kimmons. Another American, Travis Padgett, had been tipped as the man likely to be closest to Bolt, but he trailed home in fifth place following a disappointing run. Bolt was thrilled with his performance, which had also served the purpose of giving him an early glimpse at the track he will compete on at next year's World Championships when he looks to defend his 100m and 200m titles.

He had pledged beforehand to clock a fast time, but said he was not looking to break, or even go close, to his world record of 9.58secs in the first outing of the season. "That race was really wonderful," he told South Korean television network MBC. "I really loved it and I'm looking forward to next year because it was full of energy. "There is a possibility of me setting a world record next year."

Starting in the fifth lane, Bolt took the lead at the 30-metre mark after a sluggish opening, and he powered away from the rest of the field before easing across the line. His time contrasted to his compatriot and chief rival Asafa Powell's time of 9.81secs at Doha last weekend, where he was powered by a gusting wind. Bolt is next in action on Sunday at the Diamond League Meeting in Shanghai. In other action in Daegu, Ryan Bailey, the American sprinter, won the men's 200m in 20.58secs, and his compatriot Angelo Taylor won the men's 400m with a time of 45.21secs. * Agencies