MOSCOW. — No sooner did Usain Bolt happily pocket the 100m world gold than his focus was promptly switched to snagging two more golds in his never-dying quest to become a “real legend” of modern day track and field. Bolt’s blistering, world record-setting performances at the Berlin worlds in 2009 followed treble gold at the Beijing Olympics.
A blip in the Daegu worlds in 2011 saw him lose his 100m crown to teammate Yohan Blake after a false-start disqualification, but he rebounded for two more golds there before sealing a unique double treble at last year’s London Olympics.
Bolt made no bones about his primary intention in the Russian capital: win back the 100m title. And he did so in emphatic style, clocking a season’s best 9,77 seconds in heavy rain at the Luzhniki Stadium late Sunday, with American Justin Gatlin claiming silver in 9.85sec and Nesta Carter, also of Jamaica, taking bronze in 9,95sec.
Jamaicans also finished fourth and fifth, respectively Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nickel Ashmeade (both in 9,98sec), with American Mike Rodgers in sixth (10,04), Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre seventh (10,06) and Briton James Dasaolu last in 10,21.
“I feel a little tired, I need some rest,” said Bolt. “I continue to work on my aim to become a legend by collecting gold medals and athlete of the year titles.
“And the 200m and 4x100m relay are yet to come,” he added, with round one and semi-finals of the 200m on Friday and final on Saturday, followed by the championship-ending 4x100m relay 24 hours later.
Bolt said there was no added pressure to perform going into the race.
“It’s all about if you want to put yourself under pressure, I don’t do that because I know what I want,” he said.
“I go out there and compete, and compete at my best. Win, lose or draw, I’ll always be happy because I know I went out there and gave it my best.”
Bolt added: “Coming up to this race, it was a long season, I had a few setbacks, but had confidence in my coach (Glen Mills) that he was capable of getting me ready for the world championships.
“I’m looking forward to running the 200m, I can’t promise anything (regarding a new world record). Hopefully everything will come together. My legs are sore right now, but I’ll get some ice bags, get the masseurs to work right and I’ll be okay.” With the credibility of athletics questioned in light of the recent positive doping tests of several stars including American sprinter Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell, Bolt’s victory was a boost for track and field as a whole. The Jamaican, also world record holder in the 100 and 200m, admitted that the race itself had been far from perfect, a slow start, tough track and heavy rain all conspiring to work against him.
“I knew there were going to be fast times,” he said. “I had to get out there and get in my drive phase because the last 50 metres are the best part of my race.
“Just to be around great starters like Justin Gatlin and Nesta Carter, you know you have to have to get it right.
“I had to focus on my first 50, I couldn’t worry about Justin because I knew he’d get there first. He’s not the sort of person who cracks under pressure so I had to stay focused and go for the line.” He added: “I wanted to run faster but it was one of those days, not ‘singing in the rain’ but ‘running in the rain’.”
Gatlin, continuing his remarkable comeback from a four-year doping ban imposed after he had won 2004 Olympic gold and 2005 world sprint double, said he had no problem with the result.
“If I’d run a perfect race and been beaten I’d have been concerned but I didn’t run a perfect race,” said the American who claimed bronze in the London Olympics.
“I got a little over-excited and didn’t execute the last 30 metres. But I have time to correct that, I have a couple of more races coming up. I’m a competitor at heart.
“Most importantly I have a 4x100m relay to run here in Moscow.” — AFP.
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