STOCKHOLM (AP) ― Complaining about a stiff back, an unusually tight bend and the windy conditions, Usain Bolt still won the 200 meters at the DN Galan meet in emphatic style.
The Jamaican had lost over 100 meters in this meet in 2008 and 2010. But the switch to the 200 ― his preferred distance ― changed his luck at the Diamond League event.
In his last race before he defends his sprint titles at the world championships next month, Bolt cantered over the line well ahead of the field in 20.03 seconds.
Usain Bolt sprints toward the finish line. (AP-Yonhap News)
In other events Friday, LaShawn Merritt was second in the 400 in his return from a 21-month doping ban, and Caster Semenya struggled again, finishing eighth in the 800.
Bolt said he felt a twinge on one side of his back toward the end of the race.
“Technically it was not a good race because the curves here are a bit tight,” Bolt said. “I was careful not to get injured before the world championships. But generally, it was a good race despite the fact that I wanted a better time.”
Bolt said the tight bend at Stockholm’s Olympic Stadium, which was built to host the 1912 Games, had aggravated a long-standing back problem, but dismissed concerns it might affect him in Daegu.
“My back is a little bit tight on the left side and I know that’s because of the curve,” Bolt said. “I’ll be OK, no worries.”
With the world championships starting Aug. 27, Semenya is preparing to defend her title. But she finished eighth in a race won by Kenia Sinclair of Jamaica.