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Bolt Strikes 9.87 on Return to Competition in London


It was an uncharacteristically rainy and chilly London weather in which Usain Bolt made a convincing and much welcomed return to competition at the Sainsbury anniversary Games yesterday (24). He won both his 100m heat and the final in the identical time of 9.87secs – his season best (SB) – over two good fields and into headwinds of -1.2 and -0.8, respectively.

In the final, Bolt defeated Mike Rodgers (9.90) of the USA, club mate Kemar Bailey-Cole  of Jamaica (9.92), Ujah Chijindu (9.96) of Great Britain, Jimmy Vicaut (9.98) of Great Britain, Trell Kimmons (10.07) of the USA, Nesta Carter (10.08) of Jamaica, Kim Collins (10.09) of St. Kitts and Nevis, and James Desaolu (10.19) of Great Britain.

The Olympic and double world records holder had not competed since he ran the 200m in the New York Diamond League on June 13 and expressed concern over his below-par performance of 20.29secs, which he could not explain.  Two weeks later, Bolt, who has an automatic pass to the World Championships in Beijing next month, skipped the Jamaica Championships and then sought medical attention in Germany to for a pelvic injury.

Slow Start

This London Diamond League meet was, therefore, a barometer of sorts to indicate whether he would be ready to defend his World titles. And he passed impressively, albeit his race execution shows he has to work on improving his slow start.

With his 9.87 posting in the heat, fans who spiked ticket sales to see him, waited to see how much faster he would go in the final. But a faster clocking did not materialize; he replicated the time, running into less head wind than the first. At the start of the race, Bolt found himself behind half the field before slowly using his long, powerful strides to overhaul them at about 70 meters. After crossing the line, he could not mask his disappointment as he muttered words of dissatisfaction to himself, which only the camera could pick up on zoom. Nonetheless, the showman responded to the crowd with his usual clap above his head and his signature “To The World” pose.

After the race, Bolt provided his own brief analysis of the races, noting that while he was satisfied with his run in the heat, he was not pleased with it the final. He also pointed out that all was well with him as he was feeling good.  Complete results

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