Bolt defies Oslo rain in comeback 200m

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The Independent Online

The triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt set the quickest time in the world this season as he eased to victory over 200 metres in last night's Diamond League meeting in Oslo, while Caster Semenya also set her best time of the year but could only finish third behind Halima Hachlaf in the 800m.

Jamaican world record holder Bolt raced through the rain to win convincingly in 19.86sec. Norwegian Jaysuma Saidy Ndure was second in 20.43sec, while Mario Forsythe of Jamaica was third in 20.49sec.

Bolt said he was very pleased with a time that went some way to answering his critics as he tunes up his technique ahead of this year's World Championships in South Korea, which begin in August.

"I was never really out of business," Bolt said after the race. "Business was just a bit slow. I always seem to compete best when it's raining. I'm happy – I'm back to being Usain Bolt. Not perfect, but I think I'm getting there."

In the women's 800m, Hachlaf also set a world-leading time to hold off Russia's Mariya Savinova and Semenya of South Africa. The Moroccan crossed the finishing line in 1:58.27, with Savinova trailing in 1:58.44, ahead of Semenya with 1:58.61. Britain's Jennifer Meadows finished fifth, meaning she was joined by Haclaf at the top of the Diamond League rankings.

The 20-year-old Semenya is battling to rediscover her form after having to undergo a gender test following her victory in the 800m at the 2009 World Championships. She finished second in last weekend's Diamond League event in Oregon. The time was her best of the year so far as she strives to reach her peak in time for South Korea.

"I'm just three seconds away from my best," she said. "I'm happy with the time today. Now I just need to go back and work on it more – 1:57 is what I'm planning for the next races."

Perri Shakes-Drayton was the only British athlete to podium, taking second in the 400m hurdles. The 22-year-old's 54.77sec was a season's best and saw her finish 0.39sec adrift of the Czech Zuzana Hejnova.