Competing in his first 100m race of the season, Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt came away victorious at the ‘Mano a Mano’ competition held on a specially constructed track in Rio de Janeiro.
Running into a -1.3m/s headwind and recovering from his blocks slipping at the start, Bolt trailed USA’s Ryan Bailey in the early stages of the race. But the multiple Olympic gold medallist caught Bailey before half way before opening up daylight before the finish, winning in 10.12.
Bailey finished second in 10.24 with Brazil’s Jose Carlos Moreira taking third (10.51) and Churandy Martina finishing fourth (10.53).
“I think it was poor execution overall,” said Bolt after recording his slowest ever time in a 100m final. “I am sure my coach isn't going to be too happy. The good thing is that I won.”
It was the third time that Bolt had competed at this competition in Rio. In 2013 he raced over 150m, winning in 14.42, and last year he won the 100m there in 10.06. The next time he races in Rio could well be at the 2016 Olympics.
“Overall I didn't feel myself, but I think it is just lack of races,” said Bolt, who has also run 20.20 for 200m and 46.38 for 400m so far this year. “It will take time for me to get back to my best so I just need to run more and I'll be OK.
“This is always my first race of the season so it is not going to be as fast as everyone wants it to be.”
His next race will be at the IAAF/BTC World Relays, Bahamas 2015 at the start of May.
In the women’s race, two-time Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown won in 11.04 in her first race of the season. She comfortably defeated USA’s 2011 world champion Carmelita Jeter, who ran 11.19.
Kerron Stewart was third in 11.30 and Brazilian junior Vitoria Cristina Rosa was fourth in 11.59.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF