Running the second 100 metres of his widely publicised final season, undisputed world sprint king, Usain Bolt of Jamaica overcame a sluggish start to win the 100 metres at the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting on Wednesday.
The Jamaican, currently preparing for a final world championships in London this summer, though slow out of the blocks, surged ahead before the halfway point to hit the tape in a time of 10.06 seconds.
The time was good enough to edge out Yunier Perez of Cuba, who recorded a personal best time of 10.09 seconds. With eight Olympic gold medals and 13 world championship medals, Bolt has announced that he will retire after August’s world championships.
However, the 30-year-old sprinter, who expressed disappointment at clocking over 10 seconds for the second straight race, said he remained confident of an improved performance for the remaining part of the 2017 season.
“I am not happy with the time but I am just getting to my running,” he told the sellout crowd after his ninth and final appearance at the meet in the eastern Czech industrial city.
“I will be fine. So there will be no worries.” Bolt has become a regular at the Ostrava meet and his fans showed their appreciation at the end of the night, holding up placards to form the Jamaican flag as Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best” played in the stadium.
“The biggest thing is always the crowd… That is why I keep coming back here. You guys are wonderful. Thanks for everything,” Bolt said.
With Bolt moving closer to retirement, a number of athletes could be set to emerge from his shadow. (Reuters/NAN)