Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Bolt seeks fast time

Published:Friday | May 20, 2016 | 5:00 AMAndre Lowe
Usain Bolt
Jaheel Hyde
Kaliese Spencer
Javon Francis
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The last time Usain Bolt ran a sub-10 seconds time before June was back in 2012 - an Olympic year.

Bolt, who will compete in the 100m at today's Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava, will be looking to get into gear with the Olympics now firmly in his cross hairs and has been speaking a strong game, telling reporters that he feels in 9.8 seconds shape.

That might be a little optimistic at this stage of the season, but the big Jamaican will certainly be gunning to join the likes of compatriot Yohan Blake, American Justin Gatlin, and Femi Ogunode of Qatar in the early season sub-10 club when he lines up in what should be a comfortable 100m run in the Czech city.

In his only 100m race this season, the six-time Olympic gold medallist ran 10.05 seconds for his win at the Cayman Invitational last Saturday and was soon afterwards receiving what has been described as mild treatment for a hamstring niggle in Germany.

 

FIT AND READY

 

The 29-year-old has since reported that he is fit and ready to really get his campaign going, one which will see him put the sprint titles he won four years ago in London on the line at the fast-approaching Rio Olympic Games.

The last time he was preparing for an Olympic Games, Bolt, running his first 100m race in May 2012, got out of the blocks with a fast 9.82 seconds win at the Jamaica International Invitational. He would, of course, go on to win triple gold in London, and he will certainly be looking for a similar statement today.

He will face a less-than-intimidating line-up that includes Barbadian Ramon Gittens, Kittitian Jason Rogers, Wilfried Koffi (CÙte d'Ivoire) - hardly household names - with American decathlete Ashton Eaton also lined up for some speed work.

Bolt will not be the only Jamaican in action in the Czech city today, with youngsters Jaheel Hyde and Javon Francis, as well as Kaliese Spencer and Christine Day also scheduled to compete.

 

LOOKING TO IMPROVE

 

Spencer, who is coming off a win in her last time on the track, will be looking to improve on her season-best 55.02 mark and move closer to the world leaders in the 400m hurdles event, and she will certainly have enough motivation, with reigning World champion Zuzana Hejnova, who will be making her first appearance this season in this event, Denisa Rosolova, and Meghan Beesley all more than capable of giving the Jamaican a tough outing.

American Shamier Little is not in the Czech Republic, but she is currently responsible for the fastest time in this event with 54.72, even though that may change today.

Day had her best season in her professional career last year, but was to be disappointed in her 51.91 fourth-place finish at the Jamaica International Invitational in the women's 400m. The World Championships finalist should get her biggest challenge from two-time World Championships relay gold medallist Jessica Beard (USA).

Hyde will face experienced South African LJ van Zyl and American Johnny Dutch in the men's 400m hurdles, with Francis lining up against Americans Tony McQuay and Jeremy Wariner and Pavel Maslak of the Czech Republic in the men's 400m.