Bolt wins in Oslo – but is he getting too big for his blocks?
Thursday, 07 June 2012
June 7 - Usain Bolt, who won the 100 metres here in the Samsung Diamond League meeting in 9.79sec, a time only he has bettered this year, is worried that he may be getting too big for his blocks.
The 6ft 5in world 100 and 200m record holder, whose time was bettered this year only by his 9.76 in the Rome Diamond League, is finding it difficult fitting his size 13-and-a-half feet (48.5 European) onto the new blocks which are being used by Omega, the official timekeepers for the Diamond League and the London 2012 Games.
Although different blocks will be used at the forthcoming Jamaican Olympic trials, Bolt's next competitive focus, he is concerned that his prospects might be affected by the new equipment.
Bolt commented: "The starting reaction was good, but I did not have the flow in the first metres like in Rome.
"Overall, technically, the race was not as good as in Italy, but I showed I can compete well under pressure."
He added that he was "not comfortable" with the new blocks, adding: "I'm guessing how to adjust them.
"In Rome the guess was good, here not that good.
"But it is all about consistency.
"I'm pleased to win here for the second time.
"I will now go back to Jamaica, work on a few things and run at the trials.
"Specially I need to work on my start.
"After the trials I have only one race planned, over 200m in Monaco [July 20]."
Bolt's final flourish rounded off a night in which there were four 2012 world-leading performances – or five, if you count Sally Pearson's achievement of matching her 100m hurdles time of 12.49.
Top marks went to Kenya's Milcah Chemos, with a national record of 9min 07.14sec in the 3,000m Steeplechase that puts her fourth on the all-time world list, Javier Culson, who won the 400m hurdles in 47.92, Asbel Kiprop, who won the Dream Mile in 3:49.22, and Vitezslav Vesely, who earned a breakthrough javelin victory in Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen's home patch with a throw of 88.11 metres.
Sebastian Coe, chairman of London 2012, spent an enjoyable evening of spectating at the stadium where he set his first world records over 800m and the mile in 1981.
Bolt, who had made his first appearance here over 200m a year earlier in pouring rain, had no precipitation to contend with on this occasion – but he had his work cut out to beat his friend and fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell, as his gritted teeth at the 60 metres mark indicated.
At that point Powell, whose 9.72 clocking here in 2010 would have been a meeting record save for a following wind that was marginally over the limit of record purposes at 2.1 metres per second, was pushing for the lead, having got away fractionally fastest of the field – his reaction time was 0.156sec, Bolt's was 0.157.
In the end, though, he had to be content with second place in a season's best of 9.85.
"It was an awesome race," said Powell.
"I was well there until 85 metres, then my legs were tired.
"Usain is a lot stronger at the end so that was it.
"But it is good for me to go the Olympic trials with such a fast time, which will give me confidence."
Pearson, pale and intent, led from gun to the line in the 100m hurdles final as she equalled the mark she set in her native Australia in March.
But Kristi Castlin of the United States made what could be a significant breakthrough as she closed on the world champion to take second place in a personal best of 12.56.
Britain's naturalised American, Tiffany Porter, was third in 12.70, but her team-mate Jessica Ennis, who had qualified from the heats in 12.83, just 0.04 off her personal best, had the frustration of being disqualified for false starting.
It was not a good night for Britain in this respect, as Mark Lewis-Francis did the same thing in the 100m.
Britain's world 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene was well beaten on his 2012 Diamond League debut as the man he overhauled to win the gold in Daegu last year, Javier Culson, finished five metres clear in 47.92, supplanting the 48.00 mark he set earlier in the season as the fastest time recorded this year.
The Puerto Rican had a clear lead as the field arrived in the straight and extended it as Greene struggled to find his rhythm in the run-in, slipping back to fourth place in 48.98.
"Not a good race for me," said Greene.
"I pushed hard for the first 250m and had nothing left over the last 50. T
"The last week has not been the best for me as I have had a stomach virus, but I just have to work on."
Kenenisa Bekele's prospects of retaining, or even defending his Olympic 5,000 metres title are looking a little bleak following his relative failure here in what was one of the key trial races for the massively strong Ethiopian team.
Bekele ran a marginal season's best of 13:00.54, but it was only enough to earn him fifth place, one behind younger brother Tariku, in a race where Ethiopians filled the first five places.
Dejen Gebremeskel's swift finish earned him victory in 12:58.92 as he held off Hagos Gebrhiwet, who ran a personal best of 12:58.99, with Imane Merga, the defending Diamond Race champion, third in 12:59.77.
June 2012: Bolt launches Jamaican kit designed by Bob Marley's daughter
May 2012: Bolt back to sparkling best as he wins Rome Diamond League 100m in 9.76sec
May 2012: Bolt "disappointed" with 10.04sec Golden Spike 100m win
May 2012: Patrick Nally - The Usain Bolt effect
May 2012: Bolt put under pressure as Blake clocks world's second fastest 100m this year