Bolt and Blake blaze at Jamaica Invitational with world best 100 and 200m times
Saturday, 05 May 2012
May 5 - Usain Bolt (pictured) opened up a season in which he hopes to defend his Olympic 100 and 200 metres titles at London 2012 by clocking his fastest ever season-opening 100m time in 9.82sec to win the Jamaican International Invitational in his native Kingston.
"It's a good start, I would say," Bolt hazarded.
But a 200m win in 19.91, also a world best so far this year, by Bolt's rival and training partner Yohan Blake (pictured below, far left) made it clear that their rivalry is likely to reach new heights this summer.
The 25-year-old world record holder, whose time took over as the fastest run so far this season from the 9.90 set by Blake, was part of a Jamaican clean sweep in the event, with Michael Frater second in 10.00 and Lerone Clarke third in 10.03.
But Blake, who capitalised on the Bolt's disqualification for a false start to win the world 100m title last year, responded to this opening flourish with one of his own.
"Bolt erased my world lead in the 100 so I thought I would set a world lead in the 200," Blake said.
"It's a good start, I would say," said Bolt, who beat Blake's 100m season's best of 9.90.
"I feel better than last year, so I'm definitely happy with myself.
"I don't think my execution was perfect, but I think for my first race it was good."
Bolt, who will face Blake in next month's Jamaican Olympic trials, held his nerve after two false starts by competitors in Kingston.
"A couple of false starts will throw you off, but I stayed focused and went out there and executed as best as possible, so I'm just happy with myself," he said.
Britain's Christine Ohuruogu finished third with 50.93 in the 400m event behind Jamaican Novelene Williams-Mills, who won in 49.99, and Sanya Richards-Ross of the United States.
Meanwhile, Kelly Sotherton faces an anxious wait to see if she will be able to qualify for the London 2012 Games after pulling up injured during the 200m after struggling through the first three events of her decathlon in a rainswept Desenzano, in Italy.
The 35-year-old Olympic bronze medallist from Athens 2004, who lost her top level National Lottery funding last year, could now be running out of time to post a qualifying mark.
Sotherton's 18-year-old fellow Briton Katarina Johnson-Thompson, the world youth heptathlon champion, enjoyed Desenzano far more as she became the eleventh Briton to break 6,000 points for the event, bettering the Olympic B standard of 5,950 with a total of 6,007.
It also broke Jess Ennis's UK junior record of 5,910 set seven years ago.
April 2012: Bolt to ignite sports interest in UK during London 2012, according to survey
April 2012: Usain Bolt to return to Monaco for final race before London 2012
March 2012: Jamaica will set new sprint relay world record in London 2012, promises Blake
February 2012: Exclusive - "Bolt must drop either 4x100 or 4x400 at London 2012" says team-mate Frater
January 2012: Bolt confirms Rome 100m return as he continues London 2012 build-up