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Usain Bolt stars in Zurich

29 August 2008
www.world-track.org

Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt clocked 9.83-seconds in a -0.5 m/s to win the men's 100m dash at Friday's Weltklasse meeting in Zurich

Bolt once again dominated the race from start to finish, to cruise home ahead of American Olympic bronze medallist Walter Dix, at 9.99secs and Trinidadian Richard Thompson, who finished second in Beijing, be had to settle for third on Friday in 10.09.

Though Bolt continued his winning ways, he couldn't take advantage of Weltklasse organizers' bonus offer of $50,000 US and a kilogram bar of gold worth $27,000 if he broke the world record of 9.69 seconds he set in Beijing.

"It was good, but my start was not too good," Bolt said. "I concentrated on winning and as I'm starting to get a cold I was not able to think about any faster time."

American Jeremy Wariner put the disappointment of Olympics defeat behind him and turn the tables on countryman and Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt in the 400m dash.

Wariner ran a strong final 80m after coming home in the lead to win in 43.82. Merritt was second in 44.43.

It was announced earlier Friday that fans in Zurich would also get to see Bolt anchor Jamaica's quartet in the 4x100 relay, but it never came to be. Bolt and the Jamaicans pulled out of the race.

That paved the way for the U.S. team of Rodney Martin, Travis Padgett, Shawn Crawford and Darvis Patton. The Americans won in 38.01 seconds, just 2-100ths of a second ahead of Trinidad and Tobago. Germany was third.

High jumper Blanka Vlasic of Croatia and Kenyan runner Pamela Jebilo are still in line for a $1 million US Golden League cash prize after their performances on Friday. The jackpot goes to the athlete (s) who win all six Golden League meets during the season.

Vlasic returned to her winning ways by clearing a height of 2.01 metres in the high jump. She suffered a big upset in Beijing, settling for silver behind Belgium's Tia Hellebaut, who finished eighth on Friday.

Teenager Jelimo followed up her Olympic gold medal in the women's 800 metres by setting the year's best time of one minute, 54.01 seconds.

Maria Mutola of Mozambique, who won the $1 million prize in 2003, reportedly announced Friday's meet was her last competitive race. Mutola, 35, finished fourth in the 800 race.

Mutola won Olympic gold and bronze and three world championships, maintaining an elite standard for over 15 years. She finished fifth in Beijing.



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