Bolt strikes for 100m world record
at New York meeting
NEW YORK (AFP) — Jamaica's Usain Bolt set the 100m world record here Saturday, clocking 9.72sec at the Reebok Grand Prix athletics meeting.
Bolt, 21, lowered the record of 9.74sec set by compatriot Asafa Powell at Rieti, Italy, last September.
With a favorable wind of 1.7m/sec, Bolt finished ahead of 100m and 200m World Champion Tyson Gay of the United States (9.85) and American Darvis Patton (10.07).
Bolt, the 200m world championships silver medallist, had signalled his arrival on the 100m scene in this Olympic year in early May, when he clocked 9.76 - then the second-fastest time in history - at a meeting in Jamaica.
Bolt's performance on a night disrupted by thunderstorms and lightning, jolted a crowd of 6,490 that included a big Jamaican contingent.
Bolt had already set the athletics world buzzing on May 3, when he clocked 9.76 - second fastest in history - at a meeting in Kingston.
Even after that, the lanky Jamaican, runner-up to Gay in the 200m at last year's world championships, had said he thought the longer sprint was for him.
China's superstar hurdler Liu Xiang opted not to defend his 110m title, pulling out of the race complaining of a tight hamstring.
The world record holder, Olympic and world champion still made an appearance on the track, standing next to an announcer as he explained to the crowd Liu's decision not to risk the defense of his Olympic title in Beijing in August.
Liu then addressed the large Chinese contingent in the stands in his native language.
In his absence, world silver medalist Terrence Trammell won in 13.11sec.
Women's 100m world champion Veronica Campbell of Jamaica easily won the renewal of her rivalry with American Lauryn Williams.
After a false start, Campbell powered to victory in 10.91sec, fastest in the world this year.
"I'm running good," said Campbell, who improved on the 10.93 posted by American Allyson Felix in Doha on May 9. "My object is to run faster than I did last year. I accomplished that and I'm happy.
"I'm so happy to come in and execute the race as planned."
She finished ahead of Americans Marshavet Hooker (10.94) and Muna Lee (10.97), while Williams was fourth (11.13).
Wallace Spearmon won the 200m with a time of 20.07, second-fastest of the year behind Gay.
"It was my first 200 (of the year)," Spearmon said. "Not a bad one, not a great one, but it's a start."
America's former world athlete of the year Sanya Richards posted a dominant 400m victory in 50.04. Jamaica's Novlene Williams was second in 50.70.
Kenya's Paul Koech set a US record in the men's 3,000 meter steeplechase with a solo run from four laps out, clocking 8:01.85.