OSLO, Norway:Usain Bolt bounced back from a rare defeat, setting a track record at the Bislett Games on Thursday in his first 200-meter race of the season.”I’m not in as bad shape as I thought I was,” Bolt said.
Bolt, who lost the 100 by 0.01 seconds in Rome last week, finished in 19.79. He is the only one to break 20 seconds this season.”Overall, it was a good run, I can’t complain. It’s sub 20,” Bolt said. “I could have done better. I think I need to work on my corners but otherwise it was a good race.”
Norway’s Jaysuma Saidy Ndure finished second with a season-best 20.36, and James Ellington of Britain third in 20.55.Bolt topped the Bislett record set by Frank Fredericks of Namibia in 1996 by 0.03 seconds.
After losing to Justin Gatlin of the U.S. in Rome, Bolt wasn’t fazed by a false start by European 200 champion Churandy Martina of the Netherlands. Martina was disqualified and Bolt powered on, finishing strongly in Lane 6 and leaving the crowd on its feet.
“It’s always good to have someone directly in front of you,” Bolt about Martina, who was in Lane 7. “It helps to push you harder to get past them on the corner. But you have to learn. This is always good, a learning curve. If it happens in the world championships, then it’s already happened here so you know how to deal with it.”
Bolt was disqualified for a false start at the 2011 world championships in South Korea.”I know how it feels. It’s not a good feeling,” he said.
Earlier, Olympic champion Meseret Defar of Ethiopia delighted the crowd by winning the women’s 5,000 in a world-leading 14:26.90.
There was a surprise in the high jump, where Russia’s Olympic bronze medalist Svetlana Shkolina cleared 6 foot, 5 ½ inches. Olympic and world champion Anna Chicherova was third.
Tiffany Porter of Britain won the women’s 100 hurdles in 12.76, and the Czech Republic’s Zuzana Hejnova took the 400 hurdles in a season-best 53.60.Ekaterina Poistogova of Russia won the women’s 800, and Ivet Lalova of Bulgaria edged Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast by 0.01 seconds to win the 100 in 11.04.
Nineteen-year-old Conseslus Kipruto led a Kenyan sweep of the top six places in the men’s 3,000 steeplechase, winning in 8:04.48. Yousef Ahmed Masrahi of Saudi Arabia finished strongly to win the men’s 400, and Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman won the mile.