Elton Tucker, Assistant Editor - Sport
Usain Bolt speaks to reporters after running an astonishing 9.76 seconds to win the men's 100m at the Jamaica International Invitational Track Meet at the National Stadium on Saturday night. Ian Allen/Staff Photographer
USAIN Bolt rocketed to number two on the all-time 100 metres list when he produced a fantastic 9.76 seconds run on Saturday night to blow away his rivals in the men's 100 metres, and stun more than 12,000 spectators who turned up at the National Stadium for the fifth running of the Jamaica International Invitational meet.
Many were awestruck by the acceleration from the tall, far-striding Bolt from 50 metres out. Then, with the crowd giving him a standing ovation, he took a victory lap around the stadium.
American Darvis Patton was a distant second in 10.08, with Antigua and Barbuda's Daniel Bailey third in 10.12. Wallace Spearmon, the American who was expected to be Bolt's main rival, was never in the race and placed fifth in 10.13.
Bolt's time, run with a following wind of 1.8 metres per second (mps), just below the legal limit of 2.0 mps, placed him just below Asafa Powell, who holds the world record 9.74 set in Rieti, Italy, on September 9 last year.
Powell, however, lost two records to Bolt. Saturday's time beat the meet and Stadium record 9.84 Powell clocked in winning the event at the 2005 renewal.
The 21-year-old Bolt and his coach Glen Mills were just as surprised as everyone else about the final time. Bolt's personal best going into the Saturday's event was a modest 10.03.
"I knew that I was coming here to do under 10 seconds as my training was going pretty well," Bolt said.
"During the race, I really did not know I was going that fast. I was looking at 9.80 or 9.85," said Bolt, who added that he had no lofty expectations going into the meet but was "... just coming here and looking forward to going under 10 seconds flat."
He was unsure whether he can break Powell's world record.
"I don't know ... the night was just right, everything was just perfect, so you never know, this might just be one good race, but I am hoping it's not.
Always an honour
"I am going back to the drawing board and try to perfect the race better than I did tonight," he said, while adding that it's always an honour to have a world record.
Flashing a broad smile, Mills said the fact that Bolt appeared to ease up just before crossing the line stunned him even more.
"I expected him to run about 9.80 but what surprised me was that he appeared to have eased up in the last part, so when I heard the time ... It's fantastic.
"In training he was showing me that he was going to run a fast time. I had him at low 9.80s but I guess with the adrenaline and so forth ..."
World double sprint champion, American Tyson Gay, who won Saturday's 200m in 20.00, also had high praise for Bolt, the man he beat to win gold in the half-lap event in Osaka last year.
"Bolt is very talented and that 100m was amazing," Gay said after completing his event.
Mills, a legendary local sprint coach whose most famous charge before this was many-time world and Olympic 100m finalist Raymond Stewart, said Bolt is scheduled to run "two more 100m races and a 200m" before next month's National Championships.
Bolt will run the 100m at the Hampton Games in Trinidad and Tobago, on May 17, and at the Reebok meet in New York on May 31. He will then compete in the 200m at the Golden Spike Grand Prix in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on June 12.