Bolt displeased with sluggish start but upbeat for Rio

Jamaican Usain Bolt sharing the limelight with adoring fans after winning the 100m at the IAAF Ostrava Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic. He clocked 9.98sec in his second race of the year.
Jamaican Usain Bolt sharing the limelight with adoring fans after winning the 100m at the IAAF Ostrava Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic. He clocked 9.98sec in his second race of the year. PHOTO: REUTERS

OSTRAVA (Czech Republic) • Usain Bolt won the 100 metres at the Czech Golden Spike event in 9.98 seconds on Friday, in his second race this season in the run-up to August's Rio Olympics.

However, he said he was not "fully happy," blaming a poor first part of the race for failing to meet his plan of 9.8sec in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava.

"My first 40m was kind of sluggish," he said after beating Ramon Gittens of Barbados by 0.23 of a second and third-placed Iranian Hassan Taftian by 0.27.

"My reaction was good, I think the only problem I had was support behind the start was not there. I didn't execute, I didn't get the power through the first 40.

"So I had to work a little bit harder at the end to get up the speed. If I can improve that it should be okay."

Bolt had to see his German doctor earlier this week over a tight hamstring he had picked up at the Cayman Invitational meet last week when he clocked 10.05sec.

However, he said that the injury had no impact on his performance at Ostrava.

Looking at his prospects for Rio, the 29-year-old Jamaican said he felt like he was "getting there".

"As long as I stay injury-free and I continue pushing myself, continue executing like that, I'll be fine," said Bolt, who owns world records of 9.58sec (100m) and 19.19 (200m).

"I'm definitely going to win in Rio, as long as I get everything right and everything goes smoothly I should be OK, you know what I mean?" he added with a wink.

He will defend his 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles from 2008 and 2012, seeking to become the first athlete ever to grab three consecutive Olympic golds in the three events.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 22, 2016, with the headline 'Bolt displeased with sluggish start but upbeat for Rio'. Print Edition | Subscribe