indo-asian news service
ROME, 7 JUNE: Sprint icon Usain Bolt suffered a shocking 100 metres defeat to resurgent American Justin Gatlin at the Rome Diamond League here.
In his first race of the season on the European circuit Thursday, the 26-year-old Bolt finished second in 9.95 seconds to Gatlin who was one-hundredth of a second faster to the line, reports CMC.
Bolt, 26, was fastest out of the blocks at the Diamond League meeting but American Gatlin, 31, powered past the Jamaican to win in 9.94 seconds. "I need two months to get ready so I am not worried," Bolt said.
"It is always a good thing to lose. You can figure how to step it up. I knew I wasn’t in great shape but I’m not worried. It takes time to get back into shape and I didn’t expect much from this race."
Bolt had suffered a hamstring injury last month which hampered him in his opening race of the season in the Cayman Islands where he could only manage a time of 10.09 seconds.
But the American had to dip his head on the line to beat the world record holder, with France’s Jimmy Vicaut third in 10.02 seconds.
"I got the perfect start that I wanted, then about five steps in I stumbled a bit and that kind of threw my game off,” said Bolt who ran a season’s best 9.95. "My legs didn’t feel like my legs coming into the straight. I guess I need to do more strength work. I think I just need time to get it back together but the fact I got a good start threw me off. At least I got under 10 seconds”.
It was Bolt’s first major international defeat since finishing second to Tyson Gay in Stockholm in 2010 and ends his winning run in the Italian capital after impressive victories in the 2011 and 2012 Diamond League meetings.
His next outing will be over 200m in next Thursday’s Diamond League meeting in Oslo as he builds up to the World Championships in Moscow from Aug 10-18 where he will be defending his title over the longer sprint distance.
Bolt&’s new role
Multi-Olympic champions Usain Bolt and former Spanish tennis star Arantxa Sánchez Vicario will award the trophies to the men’s and women’s singles champions of French Open tennis.
Jamaica’s Bolt will award the Coupe des Mousquetaires to the winner of the men’s singles Sunday, alongside the President of the French Tennis Federation (FTF), Jean Gachassin, reports Xinhua.
Bolt is a six-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion. He holds three world records in the 100 meters (9.58 seconds), 200m (19.19 seconds) and 4X100m relay (36.84 seconds). He is the first athlete to have retained his Olympic titles in the 100m, 200m and 4X100m relay, from Beijing 2008 to London 2012.
On Saturday, Spain’s Arantxa Sanchez will stand alongside the FTF president, to award the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen to the women’s singles champion.
During her career, Arantxa Sanchez amassed a total of 29 titles in singles and 69 in doubles. She is one of the few female players to have held the World No.1 spot in singles (12 weeks) and in doubles.
In the Grand Slams, Sanchez won four singles titles (including three at Roland-Garros in 1989, 1994 and 1998), six titles in women’s doubles and four in mixed doubles.