Usain Bolt wins 1st race after Olympics
Usain Bolt cruised to victory in his first race since winning three Olympic gold medals, taking the 100 metres at the Weltklasse meet in Zurich, Switzerland.
The electrifying Jamaican, 22, who set world records in the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay at the Beijing Games, won Friday's race in 9.83 seconds, a comfortable 0.16 seconds clear of Olympic bronze medallist Walter Dix of the United States.
Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago, the silver medallist in Beijing, finished third in a strong field that included seven of the eight Olympic finalists. Only Jamaica's Asafa Powell was absent.
Though Bolt continued his winning ways, he couldn't take advantage of Weltklasse organizers' bonus offer of $50,000 US and a kilogram bar of gold worth $27,000 if he broke the world record of 9.69 seconds he set in Beijing.
"It was good, but my start was not too good," Bolt said. "I concentrated on winning and as I'm starting to get a cold I was not able to think about any faster time."
It was announced earlier Friday that fans in Zurich would also get to see Bolt anchor Jamaica's quartet in the 4x100 relay, but it never came to be. Bolt and the Jamaicans pulled out of the race.
That paved the way for the U.S. team of Rodney Martin, Travis Padgett, Shawn Crawford and Darvis Patton. The Americans won in 38.01 seconds, just 2-100ths of a second ahead of Trinidad and Tobago. Germany was third.
High jumper Blanka Vlasic of Croatia and Kenyan runner Pamela Jelimo are still in line for a $1 million US Golden League cash prize after their performances on Friday. The jackpot goes to the athlete(s) who win all six Golden League meets during the season.
Vlasic returned to her winning ways by clearing a height of 2.01 metres in the high jump. She suffered a big upset in Beijing, settling for silver behind Belgium's Tia Hellebaut, who finished eighth on Friday.
Teenager Jelimo followed up her Olympic gold medal in the women's 800 metres by setting the year's best time of one minute, 54.01 seconds.
Maria Mutola of Mozambique, who won the $1 million prize in 2003, reportedly announced Friday's meet was her last competitive race. Mutola, 35, finished fourth in the 800 race.
Mutola won Olympic gold and bronze and three world championships, maintaining an elite standard for over 15 years. She finished fifth in the 800 at Beijing.
CBC Sports will broadcast a replay of the meet on Saturday (4 p.m. ET).
In other action Friday:
- Canada's Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, a bronze medallist in Beijing, finished seventh in the 100-metre hurdles. American LoLo Jones, who stumbled to lose a podium spot at the Olympics, won the race.
- Jeremy Warriner got a measure of revenge on fellow American LaShawn Merritt, defeating the Olympic champion in the 400 metres. Warriner, the silver medallist in Beijing, ran in 43.82 to beat Merritt by 0.61 seconds.
- Cuba's Dayron Robles backed up his stunning 110 metres hurdles performance in Beijing by edging Olympic bronze medallist David Oliver by 0.01 seconds, finishing in 12.97.
- Double Olympic gold winner Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia was more than nine seconds better than the competition in the men's 5,000.
- Allyson Felix of the United States led an American sweep in the women's 200 in a time of 22.37 seconds. Lauryn Williams and Marshevet Hooker rounded out the top three.
- Sanya Richards of the U.S., disappointed to get bronze in Beijing, ran 49.74 seconds in the women's 400.
- Russian world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva was again better than American Jennifer Stuczynski in the pole vault.
- Fresh off his Olympic win, Angelo Taylor of the U.S. took the 400-metre hurdles over countryman Kerron Clement.
- Haron Keitany of Kenya won the men's 1,500. Olympic gold medallist Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain was second.
- Hussein Tahar Al-Sabee of Saudi Arabia leapt 8.35 metres for a long jump victory.
- Two-time Olympic javelin champion Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway easily won his event.
- Paul Kipsiele Koech of Kenya took the men's 3,000-metre steeplechase race.
With files from the Associated Press