Day of joy for Gay

STOCKHOLM: World record holder and Olympic champion Usain Bolt crashed to his first defeat in two years on Friday when America’s Tyson Gay won their eagerly-awaited 100m clash at the Diamond League meeting.

Gay clocked 9.84 to edge Bolt, who was second in 9.97, while Trinidad’s Richard Thompson took third in 10.10.

“It feels great to beat Usain but deep down inside I know he is not 100%,” said Gay, the second fastest man in the history of the event. “I look forward to beating him when he is 100%.”

Gay, celebrating his first win over the triple Olympic and world champion, insisted that Bolt is still the man to catch.

“Usain knows what his limitations are. His goal this year was to go undefeated, not set world records. He has plenty left in the tank.”

Bolt’s last defeat came at the same Stockholm track in 2008 when Jamaican compatriot Asafa Powell took victory.

Since that loss, Bolt had enjoyed 14 successive wins, including the last time he clashed with Gay at the world championships in 2009.

Powell, the former world record holder, was also due to take part on Friday but was forced out with a groin injury.

“You can get beat any day. You have good days and bad days,” said Bolt, who is still looking for sharpness following an Achilles injury earlier in the season.

“I still need to work on my strength. The first 10 metres tonight was crap. I had no power, no nothing. I have tried to work on it but it didn’t work out tonight.”

Bolt said two delays at the start had upset his rythym.

“I was ready but the two stand-ups annoyed me. But Tyson was in better shape than me and was better prepared,” he said.

Despite the defeat, Bolt, whose world record stands at 9.58, still has the fastest time this season of 9.82 which he shares with Powell.

Bolt has also won three races in 2010 – at Daegu, Lausanne and Paris. Bolt, Powell and Gay are due to race in the 100m at Brussels on Aug 27.

There were also wins for some of last week’s European champions as Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic took the high jump (2.02m), Svetlana Feofanova of Russia dominated the pole vault (4.71m) while Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski made the most of Sudan’s Abubaker Kaki’s failure to finish to take the 800m.

Elsewhere, America’s Bershawn Jackson took the 400m hurdles (47.65) while his compatriot Alyson Felix made the most of the absence of great rival Veronica Campbell to win the 200m in 22.41.

Australia’s Sally Pearson took the 100m hurdles in 12.57. — AFP

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