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Bolt relieved as he runs 9.76 in Rome conquest

USAIN BOLT admitted to a touch of relief after getting his Olympic preparations back on track with an emphatic victory in the Diamond League meeting in Rome.

Bolt had struggled to victory in a time of 10.04 seconds in the 100m in Ostrava last week, the first time since a rainswept night in Toronto in 2009 that he had failed to break 10 seconds outside a heat or semi-final.

But last night the 25-year-old overcame another sluggish start to power to victory in 9.76secs, the fastest time in the world this year and his fourth quickest ever. The other three were all world records.

Former world record holder Asafa Powell was second in 9.91s, with European champion Christophe Lemaitre third in 10.04.

Asked if he was relieved to put Ostrava behind him, Bolt said: "I would say yes, slightly. I knew I could do it but since I've been in Europe I've not been sleeping regularly so after Ostrava I decided that I would make sure I start going to bed early. I felt extremely well, extremely great today, so it's coming back and I feel good.

"I wanted to show what I was capable of. Every athlete can have a bad race and last week I had a bad race. This time I ate well and slept well and felt the power in my legs. I was slightly nervous when I came out but when I felt the energy of the fans the jitters went away."

Dwain Chambers had to settle for second place on his first appearance in a British relay team since 2006, the former drug cheat running a solid first leg, but then seeing team-mates Harry-Aikines Aryeetey, James Ellington and Leevan Yearwood unable to hold off Canada on the line.