Athletics

Bolt may face challenger

2012-05-04 08:47
Usain Bolt (AFP)

Kingston - Sprint king Usain Bolt will run his first individual race of the Olympic season on Sunday when he lines up for the 100m at the Jamaica International Invitational at the national stadium.

After running the anchor leg on the Racers' 4x100m club relay team that clocked a season-leading 37.82 seconds in rainy and cold conditions three weeks ago at the UTech Track and Field Classic in Kingston, Bolt had reported he was injury free and ready to go.

"I felt all right, comfortable, smooth, not as smooth as I would normally feel, but I have a few months to get ready and a lot more running to go, so I look forward to getting better," Bolt said of his early form in a season pointed at the London Olympics starting in July.

Training partner Yohan Blake, who will headline the 200m here this weekend, had run a season-leading 9.90 seconds in the 100m at the UTech meet, but with dry conditions expected on Saturday this will likely be eclipsed by Bolt.

Bolt is set to leave for Europe next week, where he is scheduled to run several events before returning to Jamaica in June for the Olympic Trials.

A number of world and Olympic champions and medallists have been confirmed for Saturday's meeting, an IAAF World Challenge event.

Word Indoor 60m silver medallist Nesta carter of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago's Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson, Commonwealth Games champion Lerone Clarke, World Championships relay gold medallists Dexter Lee and Michael Frater, Darvis Patton and Antiguan Daniel Bailey were expected to chase Bolt in the 100m.

Blake who ran the second fastest 200m ever - 19.26 seconds last year - was originally expected to clash with former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell in the half lap race.

But Powell said on Wednesday a nagging groin injury had him re-evaluating his plans to start in the 200m.

Norway's Jaysuma Saidy Ndure, Rasheed Dwyer and Nickel Ashmeade are likely challengers in the 200m field.

The female sprints should be competitive with defending Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 100m world champion champion Carmelita Jeter, Bianca Knight, joint Olympic silver medallists Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson, Debbie Ferguson McKenzie and Kelly-Ann Baptiste all confirmed to race in either the 100m or 200m.

America's Jeter won the 100m last year and has the fastest 200m in the world this year of 22.31 seconds, clocked in California last month.

Sanya Richards Ross will headline the women's 400m, where she will go up against Britain's Christine Ohurugo as well as Jamaicans Novlene Williams Mills, Rose-Marie Whyte and IAAF Diamond League 400m hurdles winner Kaliese Spencer.

Read more on:    usain bolt  |  athletics
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