LONDON — Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt produced a season’s best to win the 100m on his return to the Olympic Stadium for the Anniversary Games this evening.
A year on from the London 2012 opening ceremony, Bolt paid his own homage to last year’s Olympics by completing the blue riband event in 9.85 seconds.
Before a sell-out crowd, the Jamaican ran nine hundredths of a second quicker than he had done this year.
Britain’s James Dasaolu withdrew injured before the race.
The Olympic Stadium was hosting an evening of athletics for the first time since last summer, when the likes of Bolt, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill whipped the crowd into a frenzy during an unforgettable Olympic Games.
All eyes were on the 26-year-old for many reasons. The night began with Bolt being transported into the arena in a gigantic metallic vehicle, described as a “rocket ship”.
Unsurprisingly, a wall of sound greeted Bolt’s arrival, stirring up memories of the thunderous noise which filled the stadium 12 months ago.
Despite a lacklustre start, the Olympic champion overpowered his rivals to dip home three hundredths of a seconds ahead of America’s Michael Rodgers in second.
Jamaica’s Nesta Carter was third in 9.99 while Dwain Chambers, the only Brit remaining in the race following Dasaolu’s withdrawal, was fifth in 10.10 seconds.
Chambers later described the Jamaican as “phenomenal” while the man himself admitted he had work to do ahead of Moscow.
“My start was poor and I need to work on that,” he said.
“To make a perfect race I need to make a good start and just get into the race. Hopefully I
can make a good time at Moscow and continue to do well.”
Meanwhile, Grenada’s 400m Olympic champion Kirani James won the men’s 400 metres in 44.65 seconds and in very convincing fashion. Second went to Tony McQuay of the United States in 45.09 seconds, while Belgian Jonathan Borlee was third in a season’s best time of 45.14.
Bolt’s compatriot and Olympic 200m bronze medallist Warren Weir won that event in 19.89 seconds. Jamaica’s Jason Young, Weir’s training partner, ran an impressive time of 19.99 seconds to take second place, and Wallace Spearmon
of the USA took third place in 20.18 seconds. Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre ran 20.23 seconds to finish fourth. Delano Williams of The Turks and Caicos Islands and formerly of Munro College in St. Elizabeth was ninth in 20.74. He represented Great Britain.