Bolt: Friday’s 100m in Paris will be fastest race of the year

BRUSSELS: Triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt believes his first meeting of the season with compatriot Asafa Powell in Paris tomorrow will produce the fastest 100m of the year.

“I definitely think it should be a faster time because the race is going to be more tense and we’re going to be more explosive,” Bolt told a news conference on Tuesday, adding that the recent spell of hot weather in Europe was an advantage.

Bolt clocked 9.82 in Lausanne last week, equalling Powell’s 100m season’s best, in the world record holder’s first race since he strained his Achilles tendon in May.

The two will race together for the first time this season in the Diamond League meeting in Paris.

“Asafa is a tough opponent. You never know on the day, it’s all determined on the conditions, what mood you’re in and what your luck is on the day. But for me, I take it very seriously,“ Bolt said before a sprint clinic for children in the afternoon.

Former record holder Powell is the last man to beat Bolt, in July 2008 in Stockholm.

“I don’t want to lose. But if I lose, all I have to do is go back to the drawing board and figure out what I did wrong and work on it,” said Bolt.

Bolt said that in championship years, the two Jamaicans sought to avoid racing each at other meetings.

In 2010, with no Olympic or world titles to be won, Bolt said he picked selected races to focus on his technique.

Bolt will race Powell as well as American Tyson Gay, the second fastest man this season, at the Diamond League Meeting in Brussels at the end of August.

“That’s going to be something huge ... that’s going to be something for the books. I think Tyson is really looking forward to it,” Bolt said. “I heard he said he wants to beat me in the last race this season so he can go into next season as a winner.”

Bolt decided in Lausanne not to run the 200m to avoid further injury.

Whether he would run the 200m again this season was uncertain, Bolt said.

“The doctor said probably five more weeks before I recover because the tendon heals really slowly, but I should be OK,” he said.

His doctor could give the green light in August, but Bolt said his coach may warn against taking unnecessary risks and ask the Jamaican to restrict himself to running the 100m. – Reuters

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