There was less of a show in Usain Bolt's arrival to the Diamond League meet in Oslo, although the world's fastest man is no less confident that his form — and his starts — will peak at the London Olympics.
"This season has been very consistent so far, I think," Bolt said Wednesday. He said his starts have improved since last season when he had been "all over the place."
"In Jamaica I got a good start, last race in Rome I got a good start. My only bad race was in Ostrava," Bolt said. "So I think overall, it's been good. In training it's been excellent so I can't really complain."
Bolt's participation at the Bislett Games is only his second Diamond League appearance this season. The Jamaican sprinter failed to defend his 100-metre title at the world championships in South Korea last year because he false started.
Bolt established himself as a global superstar at the 2008 Beijing Games, winning both the 100 and 200 titles in world-record times, and helping Jamaica win gold and set another world record in the 4x100 relay. His latest world records of 9.58 in the 100 and 19.19 in the 200 were set at the 2009 world championships in Berlin.
Bolt ran a relatively slow 10.04 in Ostrava last month, raising questions about his Olympic preparations.
He put his poor performance in the Czech Republic behind him with a season's best 9.76 seconds in the 100 at the Golden Gala last week in Rome. His previous world's best of 9.82 was set at home in Jamaica earlier this year.
While his start in Rome still wasn't exceptional, Bolt quickly pulled in front and broke the previous meet record of 9.77 set by Tyson Gay three years ago.
Bolt drew some criticism for boasting about his triumphs on the track. He said he's toned it down this season to focus on his performance, although there's no way that Bolt's natural instinct to entertain will be subdued at the London Games.
"I think this season, I haven't done much because I'm more focused on thinking about my technique," Bolt said. "For me, I was standing in line [in Rome] thinking about execution, really. That was always the key problem for me. That's what I was thinking about, just going out and executing right."
In Oslo, Bolt once again faces fellow Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell.
Few would bet against Bolt triumphing at the meet in the Norwegian capital given the form he has shown and his head-to-head edge over Powell.
Powell should not be ruled out though, despite his only one win over Bolt at a Stockholm meet in 2008.
In 2010, Powell demolished all opposition by winning the 100 in 9.72 seconds, and Oslo races were all his in Bolt's absence.
Last year, Bolt won the 200 in 19.86 seconds, a run he was not quite satisfied with.
"I didn't quite make everything work last year," Bolt said. "I got a fantastic reception, that's why I'm here again. I'm back to show what I'm made of."
After the Oslo meet, Bolt will return to Jamaica for national trials. He then plans to return to Europe for a 200 race in Monaco July 20, his last race before the Olympics that start a week later.
"I'm running good, everything is coming together, so I'm just taking my time working my way to the top and my best form," Bolt said. "I'm just happy with what's going on right now and that I'm injury-free and that the season is going well."
Canadians competing in Oslo include defending Diamond League champion Dylan Armstrong in the men's shot put, and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and Phylicia George in the women's 100-metre hurdles.
World champion Sally Pearson of Australia will make her European debut in the 100 hurdles.
American Danielle Carruthers, who Pearson beat at the Daegu worlds, are also taking part in the two-heat event, as is American Lolo Jones.
In a battle of javelin giants, Norwegian two-time defending Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen will be hoping to delight his home crowd as he competes against German world champion Matthias de Zordo.
"He [de Zordo] has been showing that he can throw really well under pressure," the 30-year-old Thorkildsen, who won silver in Daegu, said of his younger rival.
Thorkildsen, who also has won gold at the 2009 worlds and was twice the European champions, threw his personal best of 91.59 metres in Oslo in 2006.With files from CBCSports.ca