Brilliant Bolt flying as Jamaican sees off Powell for second fastest 100m this year
21:30 GMT, 7 June 2012
Usain Bolt flies home from Oslo to compete for his place in Jamaica’s Olympic team at their trials but it is an examination hardly necessary. Bolt will not be beaten this year in his current form.
One blot on his c.v. in Ostrava, a win in a slow time, has been wiped clean by this year’s leading time in Rome and the second fastest of 9.79sec. He has clocked up the year’s three fastest 100 metres times.
Laid back: Usain Bolt beat second-placed Asafa Powell (right) and Justyn Warner (centre), who finished fourth
Bolt arrived in the stadium seated in a car blasting sparks from its massive twin exhausts. Fitting, because Bolt was super-charged out of the blocks.
Asafa Powell is history’s most prolific
sub-10 second sprinter, beating it for the 85th time,
but Bolt still beat him for the 11th time in the dozen races he has
finished against him.
Strike a pose: Bolt looks favourite for gold in London
This time the margin was 0.06sec, the distance of one of Bolt’s huge strides. Britain’s Marlon Devonish was well beaten, too, coming sixth, while Mark Lewis-Francis was disqualified.
Jessica Ennis, the world’s best heptathlete this year, rubbed shoulders with the world’s best sprint hurdler, Australian Sally Pearson, who was in the next lane for her 100m hurdles heat. That was as close as Ennis got because all she saw of the world champion when the gun fired was her fast disappearing back.
Friendly rivalry: Botl and Powell pose post-race
Pearson, whose parents were both British born, won the heat, her first race of the Olympic summer in Europe, in 12.59 sec while Ennis came home third in 12.83, the third fastest run of her career.
‘Run it like it is two finals,’ were coach Toni Minichiello’s instructions but Ennis did not get a chance in the final. She was disqualified for a false start.
Pearson went on to run the year’s fastest time of 12.49sec, with British record holder Tiffany Porter third in 12.70sec. There can only be one winner of this event in London.
Trailing: Sally Pearson (left) won comfortably in a field containing Jessica Ennis (centre)
Ennis rarely gets a chance in the Diamond League as an all-rounder but it is apparent from her one run that, if she ever decided to focus her attention on hurdles, she could contend.
Instead this year she intends accepting selection for the Olympic in the event only as Plan B in case the heptathlon goes pear-shaped on her.
She goes from a highly profitable payday here to an unpaid appearance on Sunday in Bedford where she compete in long jump and javelin. Two weekends later she has her final Olympic dress rehearsal at the Olympic Trials in Birmingham when she competes in four individual events.
Dai Greene wore the black and gold kit Nike has given to each of their world champions but he ran like a man for whom Daegu is a distant memory.
Driving seat: Bolt ran the year's second
He has a mountain to climb if he is to add to his world, European and Commonwealth 400 metres hurdles titles in London.
He was fourth in 48.98sec, fractionally slower than in his only other race this summer before the shed summer virus forced him out of his scheduled race in the Diamond League in Rome last week. More significantly, the Puerto Rican Javier Culson extended his lead at the top of the world rankings with victory in 47.92, the first of this year to go under 48 seconds.
Greene came into the race saying that he was not as fast as at the same time last year but he was stronger. Perhaps the virus had sapped him but it was strength he lacked as he faded in the final straight.
‘I went out aggressively but I struggled from the seventh hurdle on. It’s disappointing. I wanted a lot more,’ said Greene.
Popular support: Young fans scream at Bolt
One glorious reminder of potential denied came from Abi Oyeptian, now 32, who finished second in the 200 metres in 22.71, an Olympic standard to add to the 100 she had already.
It was her fastest since she qualified for the final of 2004 Olympic Games before a succession of injuries which culminated in surgery nearly ended her career.
She was well beaten by Ivorian Murielle Ahoure in a year’s leading time of 22.42 but she took the scalps of the Jamaican trio of Kerron Stewart, Sheri-Ann Brooks and Sherone Simpson.