A record turn out of more than 20,000 spectators for Saturday’s (1) Jamaica International Invitational left with something special as their hero, Usain Bolt, the world fastest human, gave his best run on local soil.
"I had to come out here and give Jamaica a good show," said Bolt, after clocking 19.56 to dominate the 200m. "This is the first time the Invitational has got such a big crowd, so I came out and gave the people what they came for. I did my best and I hope they appreciate it," he said with a laugh.
His run was the fourth fastest of all time, only behind his World record of 19.19, his previous record of 19.30 and Michael Johnson's 19.32. Bolt has also ran 19.57.
"19.56 is very good, I am not trying to break any records this season," said Bolt, who added the race was just a test to see how his training programme has been progressing.?
American Wallace Spearmon finished second in 19.98 while his compatriot Ryan Bailey was third in 20.43.
Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown took the women's event in 22.60. Cayman Islands' Cydonie Mothersill ended second in 22.70 with American Bianca Knight third in 22.77.
Campbell-Brown was pleased with her victory. "Victory is the first thing and the time follows," she said. "I am happy that I finished healthy and I am pleased."
Gay takes 400m in 45.05
Meamwhile, American Tyson Gay had another impressive outing in the one lap event, this time winning it in 45.05.
Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica was second in 45.22 while Trinidad & Tobago’s World Championships bronze medalist Renny Quow finished third in 45.64. Ricardo Chambers was fourth in 45.83.
Gay admitted this race was tougher than the 44.89 he ran two weeks ago.
“I worked a bit harder trying to finish,” he said. “It was very hard, because my legs still hurt.”
World leads for Williams-Mills, Jeter, Sinclair and Howard
In the women’s 400m, Novlene Williams-Mills kept her form from a rocky start to win in 50.32, a world leading time. Monica Hargrove of the USA was second in 51.42 while Dehasha Trotter, also of the USA, was third in 51.52.
In the women's 100m American Carmelita Jeter won the battle against her Jamaican counterparts, posting 10.94 to beat Kerron Stewart (10.96), another early season world leader.
Jamaican Kenia Sinclair, a former World indoors medallist, took the women’s 800m with a world-leading 1:58.62, also a meet record.
On the infield, Chaunte Howard completed the long and high jump double. She took the long jump with a leap of 6.61m, a meet record, and cleared 2.00m in the High Jump, also a world leader. Rhonda Watkins was second in the long jump with 6.57m.
American Christian Cantwell won the men’s Shot Put with a throw of 21.50m, also a meet record.
Nesta Carter maintained Jamaica’s dominance in the men's section with an easy 10.09 win over Darvis Patton (10.23).
Ginnie Powell Crawford of the USA won the women’s 100m Hurdles in 12.72 ahead of Jamaican Vonette Dixon (12.84). Dwight Thomas took the men’s 110m Hurdles event in 13.33.
Kerron Clement won the men’s 400m Hurdles in 48.55 ahead of Jamaican Isa Phillips (48.87) while Josanne Lucas of Trinidad & Tobago took the women’s event in 54.96 ahead of Dominique Darden of USA (55.78).
And Kenyan Josephat Kithii won the men’s 1500m with a meet record 3:40.30.
Anthony Foster for the IAAF
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