KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – World and Olympic triple gold medallist Usain Bolt was in devastating form at Saturday night’s Jamaica International Invitational, clocking the fourth fastest 200 metres time ever here at the National Stadium to rattle off yet another amazing feat.
In front of a record turn out of nearly 30 000 spectators Bolt did not disappoint as he sent them home with a special time of 19.57 seconds – his best performance on home soil.
“I had to come out here and give Jamaica a good show,” said Bolt, after clocking his latest amazing time 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 added with a laugh.
His time was only behind his World record of 19.19, his previous record of 19.30 and American Michael Johnson’s 19.32. Bolt has also ran 19.57.
“19.56 is very good [but] I am not trying to break any records this season,” said Bolt, who said the race was just a test to see how his training programme had 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, with Cayman Islands’ Cydonie Mothersill taking second in 22.70 and 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.”
Meanwhile, 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.”
In the women’s 400 metres, Jamaican Novlene Williams-Mills kept her form, overcoming a rocky start to win in a world leading time of 50.32. 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 Nesta Carter won the men’s 100m in 10.09 seconds ahead of American Darvis Patton (10.23) and Trinidad & Tobago’s Richard Thompson (10.25).
Jamaican Kenia Sinclair, a former World indoors medallist, took the women’s 800m with a world-leading one minute, 58.62, also a meet record. Grenadian Niesha Bernard-Thomas ran a personal best 1:59.60 for second.
Josanne Lucas of Trinidad & Tobago took the women’s 400m hurdles in 54.96 ahead of Dominique Darden of USA (55.78) while Kerron Clement of the USA won the men’s 400m hurdles in 48.55 ahead of Jamaican Isa Phillips (48.87).
Ginnie Powell Crawford of the United States snatched the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.72 ahead of Jamaican Vonette Dixon (12.84). Dwight Thomas of Jamaica took the men’s 110m hurdles event in 13.33.