London 2012: Usain Bolt storms to victory in 9.76 seconds in Rome
Usain Bolt was back to his best at the IAAF Diamond League in Rome as he set the fastest 100m time this year - 9.76 seconds
Usain Bolt put aside last week’s sluggish performance in Ostrava as he clocked the fastest 100m time in the world this year at the IAAF Diamond League in Rome.
The Olympic champion and world record holder said his display in the Czech Republic was just a blip – and so it proved in the Italian capital.
He didn’t get the best of starts but accelerated clear of his rivals in the final 40 metres to clock a world leading 9.76 seconds, finishing ahead of Jamaican team-mate Asafa Powell – who claimed he didn’t hear the gun – and European champion Christophe Lemaitre.
“I knew I could do it but I’ve not been sleeping well since I’ve been in Europe,” said Bolt.
“But I felt great here, people expect me to do well at all times and I expect that of myself. I had nothing to prove but I showed myself that I’ve still got it.”
Elsewhere, British high jumper Robbie Grabarz produced a world leading 2.33 metres to claim some high-profile scalps and win his first-ever Diamond League title.
Greg Rutherford won the men’s long jump with a leap of 8.32m, just three centimetres off his British record, although team-mate and training partner Chris Tomlinson was disappointed with his 7.77m best.
Goldie Sayers threw a season’s best 64.73m – her furthest throw since finishing fourth in Beijing – to finish third in a javelin competition won by world record holder Barbora Spotakova.
Great Britain’s Yamile Aldama finished fourth in the women’s triple jump as world leader, Colombia’s Caterine Ibarguen, claimed third behind Ukrainian winner Olha Saladukha and second placed Olga Rypakova.
Meanwhile, Steph Twell ran a season’s best 4:09.50, well outside the Olympic qualifying standard, to finish 12th over 1500m while Emma Jackson was a disappointing tenth in a high-quality 800m race.
Jo Pavey, back on the track after her failure to make the marathon team, was tenth in the 5,000m clocking 15:09.53, well inside the required Olympic standard.
In the absence of British world champion Dai Greene, Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson won the 400m hurdles while Britain’s Nathan Woodward ran a season’s best 49.64 secs – although he’ll need nearly a two tenth improvement to join the four British athletes who have already achieved the qualifying standard.
British record holder Tiffany Porter posted a sluggish 12.84 secs when finishing fourth over 100m hurdles but Andrew Osagie looked sharp claiming third in a strong 800m field.
Dwain Chambers appearing in a British relay for the first time in six years, helped the quartet, completed by Harry-Aikines Aryeetey, James Ellington and Leevan Yearwood, claim second behind Canada in 38.82 seconds.
Meanwhile, world silver medallist Hannah England has played down fears she might miss several weeks action after being spiked during her win at last week’s Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Hengelo.
“I’ve got some battle scars though from being spiked. No stitches but will have some cool scars,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
“Taking it easy this week to avoid infection and reduce risk of any lingering problems.”
© Sportsbeat 2012