Usain Bolt vows to bounce back at Bislett Games
Jamaican seeks redemption for last week's Diamond League loss in 100m
Usain Bolt hopes to bounce back from a rare defeat with a convincing victory in the 200 metres at the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, on Thursday.
The Jamaican, who lost to American Justin Gatlin in the 100 in Rome last week, is aiming to be the first to break the 20-second mark this season in his first long sprint of the year.
"I'm feeling pretty good," Bolt said ahead of the IAAF Diamond League meeting.
"I think I'm in shape to run under 20 seconds. It's all about the execution and getting it right."
Bolt has his sights set on Frank Fredericks' track record of 19.82, set by the Namibian in 1996, and will be pushed by local challenger Jaysuma Saidy Ndure, who is also aiming to beat 20 seconds.
"This is home for me, so I have to at least try to run as fast as I can," the Gambia-born Ndure said. "This is like the world championships for me."
European 200 champion Churandy Martina of the Netherlands and Curtis Mitchell of the U.S. are also running.
Bolt said he has recovered from the hamstring injury that hampered his start to the season. He won a photo finish in 10.09 in the Cayman Islands last month, his slowest career performance in a 100-metre final.
"Now it's all about pushing myself in races to run myself into shape," Bolt said. "I'm really happy with how I'm feeling, I just need more races under my belt."
Bolt, the 100 and 200 world record holder, isn't worried about his slight dip in form and says he's concentrating only on defending his titles at the worlds in Moscow in August.
"As long as my coach is not worried, I'm not worried and my coach is not worried," Bolt said.
'I want to jump two metres'
Such is the buzz generated by the Jamaican that other competitions can be overlooked, but the women's high jump is also a highlight on Thursday.
Olympic and world champion Anna Chicherova goes head-to-head with two-time world champion Blanca Vlasic of Croatia, while local interest focuses on Tonje Angelsen, the Norwegian who is looking forward to competing against her idols.
"I've always looked up to them," said Angelsen, the 2012 European silver medallist .
"I want to jump two metres as many times as they have."
Chicherova is coming off a victory in Rome and no one has come within three centimetres of the 2.02 she jumped in Beijing last month.
"I hope to get a good height, but Rome took some strength and the weather may be a surprise, but I will do what I can," said Chicherova, who rejected suggestions age is catching up with her.
"If you have the motivation and strength you can jump," the Russian said.
Vlasic isn't yet at full fitness after a long spell out with an Achilles injury.
"My heel is getting better, it's coming back," Vlasic said. "I'm very excited and motivated, as if it was the beginning of my career."
The Croatian is hoping to improve her modest season's best of 1.95 set in Rome.
"After nine months off from jumping and only being back in spikes since February, I need to get used to jumping big heights again," she said.
Olympic champion Meseret Defar of Ethiopia is the star attraction in the women's 5,000 metres, where she will be challenged by compatriot Genzebe Dibaba, younger sister of her greatest rival, the world record-holder Tirunesh Dibaba.
Mercy Cherono and Viola Kibiwot are providing the Kenyan challenge.