Usain Bolt cruises to victory in Kingston (© SportingEagle)
Competing in his first 200m race since winning the 2013 world title in Moscow, Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt cruised to victory at the UTech Classic in Kingston on Saturday (11).
His winning time of 20.20 (-0.2m/s) may have been his slowest time in a 200m final since the 2009 Jamaican Championships, but it was more than enough to win comfortably from world 100m bronze medallist Nesta Carter, who finished second in 20.60.
“It wasn’t the perfect race, so I will have to go back and look to see what to improve on,” said Bolt, whose next race will be over 100m in Rio on 19 April. “It didn’t feel as smooth as I am used to, but I just need to run more races to get race sharp.”
Bolt may have been the biggest star at the meeting, but little-known Elaine Thompson stole the show.
The 22-year-old, who started the year with a PB of 11.17, dominated the women’s 100m and smashed her PB in the process, winning in 10.92 (1.0m/s).
An 11.10 victory into a -1.1m/s headwind last month in Kingston signalled that the Commonwealth 4x100m champion was in good form.
She now becomes the 11th Jamaican woman in history to break the 11-second barrier in the 100m, moving to seventh on the national all-time list.
Elsewhere in Kingston, double world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce also contested her first 200m of the year. She had a notable lead coming off the bend, but 2008 Olympic 100m silver medallist Sherone Simpson clawed back the deficit and nearly caught her compatriot on the line.
Fraser-Pryce just held on for the win, 22.96 to Simpson’s 22.97.
Kemarley Brown recorded the third-fastest time of his career to win the men’s 100m in 10.11, just 0.01 ahead of Julian Forte. Commonwealth champion Kemar Bailey-Cole was fourth in 10.14.
In the 400m races, Javon Francis won the men’s event in 45.50, while fellow 20-year-old Shericka Jackson was victorious in the women’s contest with a world-leading 51.39.
Commonwealth shot put champion O’Dayne Richards was the top performer in the field events. He won with a season’s best of 21.00m to finish more than two metres ahead of his opponents.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF