GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, CMC – World and Olympic champion Usain Bolt launched his campaign for Rio’s summer Olympics in underwhelming fashion here Saturday night, when he won the 100 metres at the Cayman Invitational.
Running in his first race of the season, the sprint superstar strode to an average 10.05 seconds to beat American Dentarius Locke into second with 10.12, while fellow Jamaican and training partner Kemar Bailey-Cole finished third in 10.18.
Bolt was away from the blocks smoothly to carve out a small lead at the half-way point, before coasting to the wire unchallenged.
However, he was quick to concede afterward he was not entirely pleased with the outing.
“It wasn’t the best, but as long as I come out injury free, that’s the key thing,” he pointed out.
“I didn’t feel as smooth as I wanted to, but as I always say, it’s hard to just come into your first race and do extra well.”
All the attention fell on Bolt as the fans flocked to catch a glimpse of the sprint king who will be targeting an unprecedented clean sweep of the sprints at a third straight Olympics in August.
The 29-year-old had not run competitively since he dominated the World Championships in Beijing last August, and in the interim had battled injury which hampered his training programme.
Bolt, who will run the 100 metres at the Golden Spike in Ostrava next week, said he would continue to improve with more competition.
“It’s just more races. My coach will determine what I need to work on, but right now it’s just more races,” Bolt stressed. “The more races I run, the better I will feel so I am just looking forward to running more races and see what happens.
“I am never worried. I’ve been in worse situations. It’s just race rusty. I can tell. I could feel the difference from when you are flying from when you are not.”
In the 200 metres, Bolt’s training partner Miguel Francis of Antigua and Barbuda, took victory in a time of 20.16 seconds while Anguillian Zharnel Hughes – who now represents Great Britain – finished well behind in a time of 20.70.
Trinidadian Machel Cedenio was also in winners’ row, capturing the men’s 400m in 45.10, with Demish Gaye of Jamaica (45.30) and Annie Mame of France (45.98), clinching the lower places.
Jamaican Ristananna Tracey won the women’s 400m hurdles in 55.97.