Bolt calls 200 per­for­mance in New York worst of ca­reer

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY RACHEL CO­HEN

The last time he com­peted in this sta­dium, Ja­maica’s Usain Bolt ran the fastest 100 me­ters in his­tory.

In his re­turn seven years later, he had what he called the worst 200 of his ca­reer.

His typ­i­cal bravado re­placed by be­wil­der­ment, Bolt said af­ter his unin­spir­ing victory at the Adi­das Grand Prix on Satur­day he can’t fig­ure out why he feels good in train­ing but can’t ex­e­cute in races.

Hop­ing to break 20 sec­onds for the first time this year, Bolt ran what he deemed a “hor­ri­ble” curve and ac­knowl­edged he was so dis­cour­aged he eased up be­fore the fin­ish. His time of 20.29 was more than a sec­ond off his world record of 19.19.

“I don’t know what hap­pened,” Bolt said. “I re­ally can’t ex­plain it. It was re­ally bad. It was prob­a­bly one of the worst turns I’ve ever had in my en­tire life.”

Ev­ery­thing feels good phys­i­cally, he added. He had been laugh­ing and boasting at a news con­fer­ence a day ear­lier, a sign his con­fi­dence is just fine. And he and his coach were pleased with his work­out Fri­day.

The last thing Bolt was ex­pect­ing was a show­ing like this at the New York stop on the Di­a­mond League, track’s elite se­ries. The 200 did not count for Di­a­mond League points, so Bolt wasn’t fac­ing a top field.

“I got out of the blocks and I just didn’t go any­where, pretty much,” he said.

Bolt might now com­pete at the Ja­maican cham­pi­onships later this month to try to get a sharper race in. Asked about his le­gacy, he lamented that if he and his coach don’t solve this mys­tery soon, “my le­gacy’s go­ing to be in trou­ble.”

With six Olympic gold medals, Bolt’s le­gacy won’t be tar­nished much no mat­ter what hap­pens at the world cham­pi­onships in Au­gust and be­yond. And he could com­fort him­self with the knowl­edge that he’s looked beat­able be­fore only to re­gain his dom­i­nance in time for the big­gest meets.

“I never try to worry — I just al­ways keep work­ing, be­cause for some rea­son I al­ways fig­ure it out,” he said.

It was here on Randall’s Is­land, east of up­per Man­hat­tan, that Bolt first be­gan bur­nish­ing his le­gacy. On May 31, 2008, he ar­rived at the meet as a 200 and 400 spe­cial­ist con­sid­ered too tall for the 100.

He had run an eye-pop­ping time in the 100 in Ja­maica a few weeks ear­lier, though, cre­at­ing in­trigue for his matchup with reign­ing world cham­pion Tyson Gay. Bolt made Gay look as though he was jog­ging, fin­ish­ing in 9.72 to set a world record.

Ever since then, Bolt has dom­i­nated the sport, later low­er­ing his mark to 9.58. Gay, mean­while, has strug­gled with in­juries and served a dop­ing sus­pen­sion.

Gay ran the 100 again Satur­day, ral­ly­ing af­ter a slow start to win in 10.12 into a head­wind.

“Any­time you get a victory it builds your con­fi­dence,” he said. “It doesn’t mat­ter what the time is.”

Fran­cena McCorory of the U.S. was one of the few top run­ners pleased with her time Satur­day, win­ning the 400 in 49.86, the fastest in the world this year.


Usain Bolt of Ja­maica looks on af­ter win­ning the 200 me­ters men’s fi­nal dur­ing the Adi­das Grand Prix at Ic­ahn Sta­dium on Ran­dalls Is­land on Satur­day, June 13.

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