LONDON, July 23: Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt promised he will be physically ready for next month�s Rio Olympics � on the night Kendra Harrison broke the 28-year-old 100 metres hurdles world record.
Bolt, running at the track where he achieved the individual Olympic sprint double and the 4x100m relay for the second time four years ago in London, was the star attraction on day one of the Anniversary Games in front of 40,000 people at the Olympic stadium and he did not disappoint in the men�s 200m.
Brushing aside any concerns about the hamstring injury which forced him to withdraw from his country�s Olympic trials in Kingston earlier this month, Bolt ran a solid time of 19.89sec in his first competitive 200m of this season.
Panama�s Alonso Edward ran a season�s best of 20.04sec while Britain�s Adam Gemili produced a 2016 best of 20.07sec.
Bolt, who remains undefeated in this stadium in East London, is confident he can iron out any glitches with his cornering in his favourite discipline.
�I�m getting there. I am not fully in shape,� said the 29-year-old.
�I need more work, but over time I will get there. I thought the cornering wasn�t perfect. But I am feeling good.
�At least I came here, ran the race and had no injuries. I am ready to defend my Olympic titles. The main thing is I am injury free. I always love competing here. It�s always a great fun at this stadium.�
For once, though, Bolt was not the best athletics performance of the night. That went instead to an American who, incredibly, will not be running in Rio.
Harrison has not been selected for the US Olympic team but she showed the selectors what they will be missing by lowering the 100m hurdles world record.
The mark of 12.21sec ran by Bulgarian Yordanka Donkova has stood since 1988 but Harrison went 0.01sec under that to earn himself a Diamond League bonus of $50,000. �Not making the Olympic Games was upsetting,� said Harrison.
�So, I wanted to come out here and show the world I still had it in me. I came out here with vengeance to show what I could do.�
In that race, British runner Tiffany Porter (12.70sec) and Jessica Ennis-Hill (13.04sec) were sixth and eighth respectively. � AFP