15 FEB 2009 General News Kingston, Jamaica

Bolt opens with 46.35 run in Kingston

Usain Bolt cruises to a comfortable 400m victory in Kingston in his 2009 opener (SportingEagle)Usain Bolt cruises to a comfortable 400m victory in Kingston in his 2009 opener (SportingEagle) © Copyright

Sprint sensation Usain Bolt, Beijing Olympics triple gold medallist, opened his 2009 season here Saturday (14) with a creditable 400m performance at the Stadium east track.

The Jamaican superstar, and world's fastest man, Bolt had things his way at the Camperdown Classic, given his opponents little if any chance in the one lap event.

Bolt, who blazed the track in Beijing, to win the 100m in 9.69 and ran 19.30 to break American Michael Johnson's 12-year-old mark of 19.32, then returned to help Jamaica to 37.10 for his third world record, crossed the finish line in 46.35 seconds.

Running out of lane five Bolt had the field covered after 150 metres. He extended that lead and when he hit the straight, the trailing pack, which Yohan Blake led, was some 10 metres behind.

Aware of the gap, Bolt shut down 80 metres out and for the remainder of the race, was looking to both sides with a big smile on his face.

He immediately pulled to the side of the track after crossing the line and went flat on his back. His masseur gave him a massage as more than 10 overseas cameramen and other journalists captured every moment.

Bolt said he was not fully fit as yet.

"It (race) was all right. I am not really in the best of shape, but I'm happy I got through it," he said while looking forward to next weekend's University of the West Indies (UWI) Invitational.

He was happy with his time 46.35sec run by saying "I opened last season with 46.9, so this is a good time", but added that the first 300m of the race was the best.

Quizzed further about the final 100m, which he jogged, Bolt, who replied with a smile said: "the last 100m need some work".

Blake, the national junior 100m record holder clocked 46.80 for second.

Olympian Ricardo Chambers, a former national 400m champion, was fourth overall in the time-final event. Chambers won heat two in 46.98 seconds, a time he said he was quite comfortable with at this stage.

"I am happy with that time. I did not want to push it too hard as it was my first race," said Chambers, who is in his first season under Glen Mills' guidance.

Anthony Foster for the IAAF