Usain Bolt is revving up for the world championships in August, but he says he has a lot or work on before the Moscow meet.
The world’s fastest man clocked a 9.94 seconds in the 100 meters to win the finals of the Jamaica national championships on Friday night. But he sounded less than thrilled with his performance.
“It’s all about getting through and getting it done and that’s what I did,” Bolt told reporters after the race in the island’s national stadium, which was half empty on a calm Friday night in Kingston.
“I’ve got a lot more work to do,” the 100 and 200 world record-holder said after the race, adding, “As long as the coach is not worried, I’m not worried.”
Behind Bolt was Kemar Bailey-Cole at 9.98 and Nickel Ashmeade at 9.99. Former world record holder Asafa Powell did not finish in the top three to qualify for the worlds, shocking some of the decorated sprint star’s many fans in Jamaica.
At Friday’s 100 meter finals, Bolt’s night was certainly made easier by the absence of teammate Yohan Blake. The Olympic silver medallist withdrew from the meet because of a hamstring injury that his agent says hasn’t completely healed. But since Blake won the 100 meters at the 2011 worlds he has automatic qualification for the race at the August competition in Moscow.
Bolt has dominated global sprinting for years. The powerful Jamaican has set world records (his mark stands at 9.58) and captured two straight Olympic 100-meter finals.
But earlier this month at the Golden Gala meet in Rome, Bolt lost by a hundredth of a second to American Justin Gatlin in the 100. It was Bolt’s first significant loss since his false-start disqualification at the 2011 world championships in South Korean.
At the U.S. championships in Iowa on Friday night, American sprinter Tyson Gay overcame a slow start to win the 100 meters, surging past Gatlin halfway through the race. Gay finished in a time of 9.75 seconds, the fastest in the world this season.
At Jamaica’s meet on Friday, Kerron Stewart won the women’s 100 meters. She ran 10.94 seconds, beating Sherone Simpson and Schillonie Calvert. Two-time Olympic champion Shelley-Anne Fraser-Pryce qualified for the worlds after dominating the Diamond League.
Decorated female sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown is also missing Jamaica’s national championships due to a positive drug test being investigated by an island anti-doping panel.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Campbell-Brown, or “VCB,” as she known in sprinting circles, tested positive for a banned substance at a meet in May and will serve a suspension while anti-doping officials rules on the positive drug test.
Earlier this week, Campbell-Brown’s manager, Claude Bryan, said the accusation came as a “shock to her” and the reigning 200-meter world champ is determined to clear her name.
Just before Friday’s meet got under way, Warren Blake, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, urged people not to rush to judgment, saying everyone should wait for the official ruling from the disciplinary panel.
A day after Jamaican officials announced Campbell-Brown’s provisional suspension, a spokesman for the International Association of Athletics Federations told AP that “all evidence seems to point to this offense being a lesser one.”