Athletics: Bolt aims for season-best 100 meters in Brussels

AP, Thursday 15 Sep 2011

Usain Bolt will try to improve his start in the 100 meters Friday at the Van Damme Memorial


The Olympic champion, who was disqualified from the 100 at the world championships because of a false start, will look to beat Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell’s world-leading time of 9.78 seconds at the final Diamond League meet.

Despite a poor start in Zagreb on Tuesday in his first race since the worlds, Bolt clocked a season-best 9.85, only 0.07 shy of Powell’s mark.

“I have it within me to run the season’s top time,” Bolt said.

The fast Brussels track at the King Baudouin stadium certainly suits him. Three years ago, he ran 9.77 seconds into a strong headwind.

“This track has been wonderful,” Bolt said. “I’m looking forward to going out there and doing my best so it should be good. I feel great.”

Bolt won’t be racing in the 200 for the $40,000 Diamond League trophy. He said his tender achilles’ tendons are giving him too much trouble to run the curve. In 2009, he ran 19.57 here for the sixth-fastest 200.

He would have faced silver medalist Walter Dix and teammate Yohan Blake, who won the 100 in South Korea in Bolt’s absence.

Instead, he’ll be pushed in the 100 by Jamaican teammate Nesta Carter and Justin Gatlin of the United States. Once Bolt crosses the finish line, he said he’ll focus on defending his three Olympic titles at the 2012 London Games.

In the men’s 800, world champion David Rudisha will be going for a stadium record on Friday.

Rudisha was within 0.22 seconds of his own world record in Rieti on Sunday, winning in 1 minute, 41.33 seconds. He’ll aim for the 14-year-old track mark of Wilson Kipketer, which stands at 1:44.15.

Sally Pearson has been unbeaten in the 100 hurdles this year. She clinched the world title and will aim for the Diamond League trophy in that event.

Also, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia will return to the 10,000. He stepped out of the race in South Korea for his first career defeat in the distance. And 100 world champion Carmelita Jeter will face 200 champion Veronica Campbell-Brown over the shorter distance as the two top sprinters face off again.

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