Bolt: Bad day at the blocks

2012-05-25 20:28

Ostrava - Usain Bolt opened his European track season here on Friday by clocking 10.04sec in the 100m after a dreadful start at the second time of asking and into a -0.8m/s headwind.

The double sprint gold medallist from the 2008 Beijing Games overcame his laborious start to show all his power from the 50m mark, the long-legged Jamaican opening up in impressive style to the line.

Veteran Kim Collins of St Kitts and St Nevis came second in 10.19sec with American Darivs Patton third in 10.22.

As introductions were made on the stadium big screen, reggae music booming, Bolt danced, played air guitar and generally goofed around for the benefit of a capacity 20,000-strong crowd at the Vitkovice City Stadium in this eastern Czech city.

When the screams and whistles died down, Bolt, wearing luminous green spikes and loose blue singlet over grey camouflage shorts, settled in his blocks after crossing himself and looking skywards.

But then South African Simon Magakwe false started to ruin the suspense, with the crowd on their feet all around the stadium in anticipation.

Bolt made no such mistake on his departure at the second time of asking after raising his fingers to his lips as the cameras zoomed in close up.

The Jamaican revolutionised sprinting, and indeed athletics, four years ago in Beijing, setting world records when winning the 100 and 200m titles, and also starring in a record-breaking Jamaican quartet in the 4x100m relay.

The 25-year-old Jamaican left the Chinese capital as one of the most recognisable figures in world sport, unbelievably going on to beat both his individual sprint marks with new times (9.58 and 19.19sec) in the Berlin worlds in 2009.

He lost his world 100m title in Daegu, South Korea, last July to compatriot Yohann Blake after sensationally false starting in the final.

But with track and field set to again take centre stage at this summer's London Olympics, the world's largest sporting event, Bolt will have delighted fans, sponsors and meet organisers alike with his performance here.

Briton Dwain Chambers, who has served a drugs ban and is now cleared to race in the Olympics after the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) overturned a British Olympic Association bylaw that banned doping cheats for life, recorded 10.28sec, missing the Olympic qualification time of 10.18.


  • dizaoa.langa - 2012-05-26 00:11

    Well done bolt, just sad that Magakwe had a false start,

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