Bolt wins, un­happy with slow time

Marlborough Express - - SPORT - ATH­LET­ICS

He ad­mit­ted he wasn’t happy with the time, but Usain Bolt started the Euro­pean leg of his fi­nal sea­son be­fore re­tire­ment with a vic­tory in the 100 me­tres at the Golden Spike meet­ing in Os­trava, Czech Repub­lic.

At the meet where he has most fre­quently com­peted in his ca­reer, with nine ap­pear­ances, Bolt reeled in the rest of the field af­ter a trade­mark slow start to cross the fin­ish line in 10.06 sec­onds.

How­ever, he had to hold off a strong chal­lenge from Yu­nier Perez of Cuba, edg­ing him by 0.03. Jak Ali Har­vey of Turkey was third in 10.26.

Bolt’s per­for­mance fell short of his sea­son best of 10.03, which was clocked at the 100 and 200 world record holder’s fi­nal race in his na­tive Ja­maica on June 11.

‘‘I’m not happy with the time,’’ Bolt said.

‘‘But it’s not im­por­tant, en­joyed it so much.’’

The eight-time Olympic cham­pion is pre­par­ing for the world cham­pi­onships in Lon­don in Au­gust, his fi­nal ma­jor com­pe­ti­tion, and men­tioned a back prob­lem that slowed him but down­played its sig­nif­i­cance.

‘‘I’m go­ing to see my doc­tor (in Ger­many) soon, I know he will fix ev­ery prob­lem,’’ he said.

‘‘All I need to do now is just to train hard and fo­cus on get­ting my­self into great shape. I’m not wor­ried about that.

‘‘It’s just my back, it’s al­ways an is­sue. I didn’t get in­jured, that’s a key thing.’’

Bolt said he liked the Golden Spike be­cause it was one of the first pro­fes­sional meets that in­vited him to run at the start of his ca­reer, and he also ap­pre­ci­ated the fact that the stands were al­ways packed.

In an emo­tional farewell af­ter the race, fans held up coloured cards that formed a huge Ja­maican flag in the stands, with a gi­ant mes­sage: ‘‘THANX UB.’’ The Ja­maican an­them fol­lowed, with Bolt singing along.

The only other race he’s sched­uled be­fore the worlds is the Di­a­mond League event in Monaco on I July 21. He’s still un­de­cided about other meets.

Other win­ners on Wed­nes­day were Mo Farah, in the 10,000m and Wayde van Niek­erk of South Africa, who led home the rarely­con­tested 300 me­tres in a world’s best time of 30.81.

Bri­tish dis­tance spe­cial­ist Farah, who de­fended his Olympic ti­tles in both the 5,000m and 10,000m at the Rio Games last year, plans to re­tire from track to move to road races af­ter the worlds.

Farah held off a chal­lenge from Kenyan Mathew Kimeli, surg­ing past him with 200 me­tres to go to win in 27:12.09. Kimeli clocked 27:14.43.

‘‘I hon­estly hoped I could run a bit faster time, how­ever the wind slowed me down even though we ran quite a fast race from the be­gin­ning,’’ Farah said.

Van Niek­erk, Olympic cham­pion and world record holder in the 400, won the 300 in­side the pre­vi­ous best time of 30.85, set by Michael John­son in 2000, in Pre­to­ria, South Africa.

‘‘I’m so pleased and grate­ful for the big achieve­ment. I’m hon­ored to be a small part of his­tory,’’ Van Niek­erk said

DAVID W CERNY/REUTERS

Ja­maica’s Usain Bolt wins at the Golden Spike in Os­trava, Czech Repub­lic.

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