'Zurich not my best race'
Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Despite running a season-best time in cool conditions and into a slight headwind while beating some of the fastest men in history in Zurich on Thursday, Commonwealth 100-metre champion Kemar Bailey-Cole does not rate the performance as his best this season.
The Old Harbour High School old boy recovered from his usual shaky start and blazed past former world record holder Asafa Powell (10.07) and a hobbled Tyson Gay (10.35), the second fastest man of all time, to get to the finish line first in a fast 9.96 seconds (-0.3m/s). Nesta Carter, the fifth fastest man of all time, was sixth in 10.14 while American Mike Rodgers was second, 10.05, just ahead of European champion James Dasaolu, 10.06.
The lanky sprinter, however, said his winning run in Zurich only ranks among his best this season.
"The best race of the season for me was winning the Common-wealth title so I would put Zurich in second spot right now," said the Racers' star shortly after arriving at his training base in London yesterday.
He revealed that long before Thursday's race, he was motivated to do well when he realised how deep the field was.
"The day I saw the line-up I was thinking like this is like a World Championship final without Bolt, Blake and Gatlin, but nonetheless I told myself that I should at least get a win or get a season best and at the end of the race got both and was very pleased," he said, acknowledging that achieving the perfect race is still a work in progress. "I am quite satisfied because I am still working on getting that start close to perfect. I just need to work on the angle of my body coming out of the blocks and the first three quick steps."
Earlier this season, a toe injury threatened to derail Bailey-Cole's season. He recovered in time to win gold in Glasgow and has since found the consistency that had eluded him. Combined, they have served to boost his confidence. "My confidence keeps growing every year and the good thing about it is that no one can know what I am thinking when I am on track because of that priceless look on my face," he joked.
Bailey-Cole will have the opportunity to lower his season best even further in the coming days as he has about three more races to go before the curtains come down on his most successful season yet. He races against Powell again on Tuesday in Zagreb and might race in Brussels before he closes his season with a 150-metre street race in Newcastle, England.