Bolt fires out warning

PARIS:Sprint king Usain Bolt fired out a warning to rivals ahead of the World Athletics Championships by cruising to a meet record of 9.79 seconds in the 100m at the Golden League event here on Friday.

Jamaica’s triple Olympic champion had a terrible start in wet conditions at the Stade de France but once his head came up after 40 metres, he powered his enormous frame away from the rest of the field in an ominous sign for next month’s worlds in Berlin.

Bolt’s training partner Daniel Bailey of Antigua and 19-year-old Jamaican Yohan Blake also posted sub-10sec races in 9.91 and 9.93 respectively. Bolt’s time was the second fastest this season after triple world champion Tyson Gay of the US, who recorded 9.77sec into a headwind in Rome, and smashed the meet record of 9.85sec set in 2006 by compatriot Asafa Powell.

Away from the blue riband event, all four contenders for the one-million-dollar Golden League jackpot for the athlete who wins all six races in their discipline throughout the season won again here, the fourth of the six-leg series.

Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia cruised to 3,000m win in 7min 28.64sec, 4.51sec ahead of Kenyan-born American Bernard Lagat. In terrible conditions for pole vaulting, Russian Yelena Isinbayeva took just one vault at 4.65m to seal the win and make sure she stayed in the race while Jamaican Kerron Stewart posted her fourth consecutive 100m win in 10.99sec.

On a good night for Americans, Sanya Richards also ensured she stayed on course for the jackpot with victory in the women’s 400m in 49.34sec, more than one gaping second ahead of her rivals. Her feat was repeated by her compatriot Jeremy Wariner, the Beijing Olympic silver medallist who claimed double gold at the Athens Olympics and also at the two last world champs in Osaka and Helsinki, in the men’s event. Wariner won in 45.28sec, a mighty 1.42sec off the meet best he set last year.