Brilliant Bolt back on form in London return
Published 25/07/2015 | 02:30
Usain Bolt blew away any fears about his fitness and fired a major warning to Justin Gatlin as he blasted to his two fastest 100m of the year on his return to the Olympic Stadium last night.
The world's fastest man, on his first outing for six weeks following a pelvic injury, clocked 9.87 seconds twice, to win his heat and then the final at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games.
The Jamaican stated on the eve of the meeting he had no worries about his shape a month out from the World Championships in Beijing and backed that up on the track where he won three Olympic gold medals at London 2012.
His run in the heat was smoother than the final, but he could take further heart from the fact both were into headwinds and in far from ideal conditions.
The six-time Olympic champion had to work hard after a poor start in the final, beating American Mike Rodgers by just 0.03secs.
And despite the victory, Bolt seemed distinctly unimpressed by his final run.
"Overall, it was a good run. My start was really poor. My coach (Glen Mills) keeps telling to me relax. I want to run faster and it is getting there," he said.
"The first race was very smooth and I was very happy with what I did. In the final, I got a bad start and it all went downhill from there."
Gatlin, a two-time drug cheat, who has shown not an ounce of remorse or contrition for his suspensions for amphetamine and anabolic steroid abuse, has run 9.74sec twice this season, times that almost defy belief for a 33-year-old.
There is a sorry accompanying cast of Asafa Powell (six-month ban), Tyson Gay (one-year ban) and Rodgers (nine-month ban).
The showdown between Bolt and Gatlin will come in six weeks in Beijing, the first time, to the sport's vast shame, that they have met on the track since 2013.
In his last race before the World Championships, Mo Farah returned to action and form in front of a partisan home crowd when he cruised to victory in the 3,000m in just under 7mins 35.