ZAGREB, Crotia, September 14 – Jamaican athletics superstar Usain Bolt ran a track record 9.85sec in the 100m at the athletics meeting here Tuesday, smashing longstanding American rival Tyson Gay’s mark of 9.92 set last year.
The 25-year-old Olympic titleholder – who lost his world crown last month after being disqualified for false starting – eased away to win in what was for him also a season’s best time, though, a fair bit off his world record of 9.58sec.
St Kitts and Nevis’s 35-year-old Kim Collins, 2003 world champion and bronze medalist last month, finished second while Trinidad and Tobago’s Richard Thompson was third.
Collins timed 10.01sec while Thompson finished in 10.03sec.
Bolt, who nevertheless retained his world 200m crown and also anchored the Jamaican team to a world record in the 4x100m relay, said that he wasn’t satisfied with his run overall because of a problem that has been dogging him all season.
“I had a bad start, that’s the reason why I had lost concentration, a little bit. It was already happening to me this year,” he said.
“But, I felt wonderful here. I remember my last meeting here, in Zagreb (in 2006).
“Then and tonight again, I had great support from the spectators,” he stressed.
Cuba’s Olympic champion Dayron Robles won the 110m hurdles in 13.00 seconds, which was also his season’s best. World champion American Jason Richardson was second in 13.04sec.
“I did not expect such a good result,” said the Cuban, whose disqualification after winning the 110m hurdles final in August saw Richardson promoted to gold.
“While I was warming up I felt tiredness, a muscle contraction, but at the stadium I felt excellent and if there were not these minor problems, maybe I would have run even better,” he added.
In the women’s high jump world champion Anna Chicherova did not allow Croatian darling but injury-hit Blanka Vlasic to avenge her world championships defeat.
They both jumped over 2m but the Russian had less attempts. Ebba Jungmark from Sweden was third with 1.94m.
“I decided to attack 2.04 metres but it turned out that I don’t have the speed for such a height. The problem is that my left leg is weaker than the right and I felt pain since warming up,” Vlasic told journalists.
“However, I cannot regret the defeat since the audience saw jumps over two meters which was not often this season.
“This season really tired me, there were injuries … so I have to be happy that in such a condition I jumped over two metres in Zagreb,” the 28-year-old Croatian stressed.