André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
A poor start, mid-race recovery, comfortable win. Except for the grand pyrotechnics that greeted the big Jamaican at the finish line, it was a familiar scenario for double Olympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt as he recovered to win with something to spare at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games Diamond League stop in London yesterday.
However, the 26-year-old, who was returning to his London 2012 Olympic Games stomping ground, is not taking too much comfort in his season best 9.85-seconds win, pointing to a "horrifying" start as the point of his race that will need the most attention before next month's IAAF World Championships in Moscow gets under way on August 10.
The two-day meet is being staged on the anniversary of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games and it was a case of déjà vu as a jam-packed stadium witnessed Bolt dominate his peers, like he did 12 months ago.
"It's just wonderful," said Bolt immediately after the race.
What wasn't so wonderful, however, was his start.
Bolt was one of the slowest out of the starting blocks with a 0.175 reaction time, but he is used to running from behind, and at the midway point of the race, the four-time World Athlete of the Year flicked on the afterburners - and the TV-friendly finish line fire-show, leaving the fast-starting American Mike Rodgers, 9.98, and fellow Jamaican Nesta Carter, 9.99, looking at his heels.
Nonetheless, Bolt, who false-started at the last World Championships and was later ejected, is expecting that the rounds that he will have to run in Moscow will give him an opportunity to further fine-tune his start.
"I'm so excited. I just had a bad start. More races will get me better, so it's OK. It was a brilliant experience, as always, and I am just happy to be here," said Bolt.
Will he return to London anytime soon?
His cheeky, "That's up to the tax people," response will give his fans and lawmakers on the isle something to think about.
Bolt's training partner and Olympic 200m bronze medallist Warren Weir made a statement of his own, powering around the curve before pushing home to win the half-lap event in 19.89 - his sixth sub-20 seconds clocking (fourth this season) since switching from the sprint hurdles in 2011.
"I am pretty pleased with the 19.89. I am confident going into the World Champs that I can run my race and win," said Weir.
Upcoming Jamaican Jason Young, now at the University of the West Indies, continued to show his ability, finishing second in 19.99 with American Wallace Spearmon, third in 20.18. Former Munro standout and Turks and Caicos native Delano Williams, now representing Great Britain, was also in the race, finishing eighth in 20.74.
Olympic finalist Kimberly Williams, 14.38m, was second in the triple jump, finishing behind Russian Ekaterina Koneva, 14.52m, with Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko, 14.29m, in third spot.
Kaliese Spencer, 54.88, and Ristananna Tracey, 55.55, finished fifth and seventh in the 400m hurdles, which was won by Czech Republic's Zuzana Hejnova, 53.07, with Britain's Perri Shakes-Drayton, 53.67, and Georganne Moline of the United States, 54.32, completing the top three spots.
Nine Jamaicans will compete on today's second and final day of the meet, including Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who lines up in the 100m.
100m: 1. Usain Bolt (JAM) 9.85, 2. Mike Rodgers (USA) 9.98, 3. Nesta Carter (JAM) 9.99, 4. Kim Collins (SKN) 10.03.
200m: 1. Warren Weir (JAM) 19.89, 2. Jason Young (JAM) 19.99, 3. Wallace Spearmon (USA) 20.18, 4 . Christophe Lemaitre (FRA) 20.23
400m hurdles: 1. Zuzana Hejnova (CZE) 53.07, 2. Perri Shakes-Drayton (GBR) 53.67, 3. Georganne Moline (USA) 54.32, 4. Kori Carter (USA) 54.83, 5. Kaliese Spencer (JAM) 54.88, 6. Hanna Yaroshchuk (UKR) 55.09, 7. Ristananna Tracey (JAM) 55.55.
Triple Jump: 1. Ekaterina Koneva (RUS) 14.52m, 2. Kimberly Williams (JAM) 14.38m, 3. Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko (ISR) 14.29m 4. Dana Veldakova (SVK) 13.94m