Sun | Jun 25, 2017

Bolt says farewell in magnificent style #OneLastBolt

Published:Saturday | June 10, 2017 | 6:52 PM
Usain Bolt - Gladstone Taylor Photo

Like he has done so many times before, Usain Bolt crossed the finish line in front, as he closed the book in what was his final race on local soil at Saturday’s JN Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium.

But not before his usual theatrics at the start.

A ‘To di worl’ pose as he was being introduced, Mo farah darting on the infield, GoPro camera in hand to get his vantage point of the historic moment; it was the sort of end everyone expected and the fireworks that met his 10.03 seconds win at the finish line was symbolic of the most exciting career in track and field.

Javaughn Minzie was second in 10.15 with Nickel Ashmeade running third in 10.18.

“I really appreciate you guys for coming out and supporting me. After my friend’s death it was really hard for me, I have never been through something like this, I had to take some time but I knew what I had to do and I knew Germaine (Mason) would want me to do this. This was special,” said Bolt after his event.

“There are no words, from World Juniors the support that I have been getting from Jamaica has been remarkable. I could not have done this without my parents, my friends, my best friend NJ, I want to thank Jamaica, I never expected this. It’s big to see everybody turn out, it shows that they appreciated what I did and it was a honour for me,” Bolt added.

It wouldn’t be a Bolt 100m without a poor start and so-so first phase, but as he has done over the years, the big Jamaican took control of the field and powered home, returning to kiss the stadium track before addressing the crowd.

Yohan Blake got his share of the limelight with a 9.97 seconds win in his 100m event leading from start to finish to get the better of Akani Simbine, 10.00 and Keston Bledman, 10.22.

“It has been going really good for me. Usain told me before I came out here, 'Blake stay patient' and that's what I did," said Blake.

Wayde van Niekerk set a world leading time of 19.84 seconds while winning the men's 200m event.

The South African 400m world record holder was in complete control, ahead of Rasheed Dwyer, who was second in 20.11 seconds.

Fellow Jamaican Warren Weir placed third in 20.18 seconds. His Racers Track Club Teammate, Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain was fourth in 20.22 seconds.

World champion Danielle Williams, 12.81 was second in the 100m hurdles behind Sharika Nelvis, 12.78 with Sally Pearson, 12.83 running third.

Demish Gaye continued his fine form with a 44.73 seconds run in the men’s 400m. Lalonde Gordon was second in 45.18, while Machel Cedenio took third place in 45.57 seconds.

Farah delighted the crowd by crossing the line first and with a signature Bolt pose as he won the men’s 3000m in 7:41.20 ahead of Pat Tierman, 7:41.62 and Jamaica’s Kemoy Campbell, 7:41.87.

Willy Tarbei pulled off one of the talking points of the night when he pipped world record holder David Rudisha on the line to win the Men's 800m.

Tarbei finished in 1:44.86 ahead of his Kenyan teammate Rudisha, who clocked 1:44.90 seconds. USA's Erik Sowinski took third in 1:45.27 seconds. Jamaicans Chadoye Dawson, Daniel Glave and Sadiki White, were fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.

Shamier Little won the women’s 400m in 54.21 ahead of Dalilah Muhammad, 54.59 and Ristananna Tracey, 54.61.

Shanieka Thomas-Ricketts produced a stadium record, 14.31m to win the triple jump event.

Christian Taylor took the male equivalent in 17.20m with Allyson Felix running strongly for the women’s 400m win with a time of 50.52.

World Junior champion Jaheel Hyde turned a good performance to finish second in the men’s 400m.

Hyde, who ran a personal best 48.52 at the Jamaica International Invitational on May 20 also at the National Stadium, finished second in 48.82. The race was won by Quincy Downing of the US in 48.13. Jonny Dutch of the US was third in 49.00 while fourth went to Jamaica’s Roxroy Cato in 49.43.  

"I am pleased with my performances so far this season as I am running much better than last year, as I am consistently running 48 seconds, compared to last year. I am healthy and I am looking forward to trials as I think I am on the right path", Hyde said.