Bolt operating at half pace


PARIS, July 13 – World sprinting sensation Usain Bolt admits that he is firing at only 80 percent, but has still targeted 9.7 seconds for his 100m outing at Friday's Diamond League meet here.The world record holder in the 100 and 200m returned from an achilles tendon injury with a clear win in 9.82sec at the Diamond League in Lausanne last Thursday.

And the Jamaican, a triple Olympic and double world champion, said his goal was now to remain undefeated during the season, which for him features no major championships.

"I definitely feel good," the 23-year-old said. "I’m happy where I am at the moment.

"My main goal this season is defintely to stay unbeaten. The other was to remain injury-free but that went out the window."

He added: "I’m probably 80 percent fit. It’ll be another 2-3 more weeks before I start going full speed.

"The goal on Friday is defintely not to lose the race.

"I’m getting back into shape and I’ll be trying to go 9.7sec. It should be a good race."

Bolt said he was not expecting to have everything his own way, however, from a field that includes compatriots Asafa Powell and Yohan Blake, and up-and-coming French sprinter Christian Lemaitre who set a new French record of 9.98sec on the weekend.

"Conditions should be good on Friday, and when the competition is keen and Asafa is coming, you know it’s going to be fast," he said.

"The field is hard: there’s Powell, Blake, Lemaitre… a lot of guys will go under 10sec.

"It’ll be my first time competing with Asafa this season so it should be interesting. He’s in great shape this season. I’m looking forward to it. I don’t want to be beaten this season."