Usain Bolt rebounds from Rome blip to scorch Oslo 200m
Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt scorched to victory in 19.79 seconds in the 200m at the Oslo Diamond League meet on Thursday to banish memories of his loss to Justin Gatlin in Rome last week. Bolt's first outing over his favoured event this season was disrupted with a false start by Churandy Martina, the Dutchman running in the lane outside the Jamaican disqualified.
With the temperature hovering around a chilly 13 degrees Celsius, Bolt made an explosive start on the second time of asking and was up on Sweden's Nil de Oliveira in the outside lane within 10 paces. As he rounded the bend, Norway's Jaysuma Saidy Ndure briefly threatened from lane five, but teeth clenched and at full tilt, Bolt destroyed the field in the final 40 metres to set a new meeting record.
Saidy Ndure finished second in 20.36sec, with Britain's James Ellington in third at 20.55. "I'm very, very chilly!" Bolt said. "I was going to come out here and give my best and I did that. I'm very happy. "It's a very good start for my first 200m (of the season). I'll now go home and work on everything else. I'll aim to go even faster."
For Bolt, it was a return to business as normal after his 100m defeat by Gatlin in the Italian capital, something the Jamaican had put down in part to a tight hamstring. He certainly showed no signs of that as he powered past Namibian Frankie Fredericks' Bislett Stadium record of 19.82sec set back in 1996.
In the build-up to the race, the track announcer eschewed the usual reggae over the tannoy for some hard-core dance music, to which the Bob Marley-loving Bolt threw a few dance moves, to the delight of the shivering, sell-out crowd. Bolt played up to the television cameras, pretending to style his hair before rubbing his shoulders and blowing into cupped hands because of the cold before proceeding to do some "robotics".
Fresh from just his fifth defeat on the track since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the imposing 26-year-old, also the world record holder in both sprint events, switched on the afterburners in his drive phase to ensure a comfortable win in his favoured event.
In clocking 19.79sec, Bolt became the first male athlete to dip under 20 seconds for the 200m this season, the perfect boost before heading home for his national trials ahead of the August 10-18 World Athletics Championships in Moscow.