x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Usain Bolt lightning fast at World Athletics Championships in Moscow

World's fastest man says he wanted better but winning comes first in bad conditions.

Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates in Moscow.
Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates in Moscow.

MOSCOW // Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt lifted track and field out of the doping doldrums as he reclaimed his world 100-metres title in emphatic style on Monday.

Bolt clocked a season's-best 9.77 seconds in heavy rain at the Luzhniki Stadium, with American Justin Gatlin claiming silver in 9.85 and Nesta Carter, also of Jamaica, taking bronze in 9.95.

The sport's credibility had again been called to account in recent weeks, notably after American sprint rival Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell tested positive for drugs.

Once again it was Bolt, 26, the powerfully-built world-record holder in both the 100 and 200m, who came to the rescue, at least in the short term.

The sole blot on the Jamaican's copybook since winning treble gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was a false start two years ago in the worlds that saw now-injured teammate Yohan Blake take the title.

"I am happy, but I wanted to do better," Bolt said.

"My legs were sore after the semi-finals. I don't know why, but the world record wasn't on, so I came out just to win.

"Back in Jamaica, they do not expect less than that from me. They always expect me to dominate."

The race itself was classic Bolt in front of a near-empty Luzhniki Stadium in stormy weather.

Modestly, but safely, out of the blocks, Bolt's head and shoulders remained low as he drove into the opening metres.

While his reaction time might have been slower than all but one other in the field coming off the starting line, he soon reeled in the opposition.

At the 50-metre mark, Bolt pushed his huge frame through his renowned transition phase, head coming up and long legs pumping, teeth gritted and eyes on the big screen beyond the finish line.

He moved past Gatlin on his left and had a brief look over at Carter on his right before putting on the afterburners.

In the build-up to the evening session, the "Bolt effect" could be seen in the crowd, as one of sport's biggest names once again proved his worth as an athlete and main drawing card for a track-and-field meet.

The sparsely populated stadium had filled out and excitement grew as the race approached.

With Bob Marley blazing over the arena speakers, television cameras picked out each racer, but played on Bolt in Lane 6, dressed in black and green shorts and the yellow and black singlet of the Jamaican team.

Ever the showman, to the delight of the crowd, he mimed getting out a portable umbrella as heavy rain started to fall, drawing laughter and applause.

As the starter called them to the blocks, Bolt put a finger to his lips to hush the crowd, briefly crossing himself and looking skywards as the television zoomed in and his picture was broadcast on the big stadium screen.

The race did not even last 10 seconds, but the gold saw Bolt also move within touching distance of equalling American sprint legend Carl Lewis's record of eight world gold medals.

While he used to start celebrating well before the finish on big wins, he remained expressionless as he ran across the finish line and minutes passed before he unleashed the mighty "Lightning Bolt" pose that made him famous across the globe.

Further cementing their place in track's social sprinting register, Jamaicans took four of the top five spots.


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