Bolt has no trouble making a splash

Olympic champion runs stunning 150m only 19 days after car crash

Deansgate was no real place for showboating yesterday, with the Mancunian weather living up to its miserable form. At one point in the afternoon the elevated track laid out down Manchester's main thoroughfare was in a worryingly waterlogged state.



At that stage, Usain Bolt, the great showman of the Beijing Olympics, could have done with a boat to navigate his passage along it. When the time came for the Jamaican phenomenon to get to his marks in the Great Manchester 150 Sprint, the sun had broken through and most of the surface water had been dredged. Still, as he got to his marks for the final of the exhibition 150m street sprint, the fastest man on the planet could have been excused a drop or two of trepidation, and perhaps a shiver of déjà vu.

After all, it was in similar conditions that the Lightning Bolt had skidded off the highway to Kingston back home just 18 days previously, overturning his BMW M3 into a ditch. Thankfully, the 22-year-old had no difficulty keeping control of his skin and bone speed machine yesterday. He did stumble as he rose from his starting blocks, but then he shifted into overdrive. With a vengeance. There was some déjà vu all right. It was like last summer in the Beijing "Bird's Nest" all over again as Bolt reduced his nominal rivals to also-rans and hit speeds never seen before from a human.

After blitzing through the 100m mark in 9.90sec, he reached the finish line in 14.35sec, the fastest time ever clocked for the rarely contested, non-standard distance of 150m. It qualified as a world best rather than a world record. The previous best time in a 150m race, set on a conventional curved track (there was no bend to negotiate on Deansgate) stood at 14.8sec by Pietro Mennea, the Italian who denied Allan Wells the sprint double at the Moscow Olympics in 1980 with his flying finish in the 200m.

It was jaw-dropping stuff. All the more so considering Bolt required minor surgery to remove some thorns upon which he had trodden while exiting his smashed vehicle two and a half weeks ago. He only resumed full training last Monday and yet he won by a veritable street – a Coronation Street, you could say. Marlon Devonish, an Olympic relay gold medallist in Athens in 2004, finished runner-up in 15.07sec.

Putting Britain's place in the scheme of sprinting things in further perspective, Dwain Chambers opened his outdoor track season with a time of 10.21sec as runner-up in the 100m in the delightfully named Ponce Grand Prix in Puerto Rico on Saturday.

Over the final 100m of the Manchester race yesterday, Bolt was timed at 8.72sec – with the considerable benefit of already being at top speed when the clock started for the split time. It all begged the question of just how fast the man who clocked a world record 9.69sec while slowing down in the Olympic final might run for the 100m in the summer track season.

Somewhat soberingly for the mere mortals of the sprint game, after pulling a couple of his trademark poses for the crowd, Bolt confided: "I'm not in the best of shape right now. I'm maybe 70 per cent. I've got work to do. I have to buckle down."

Bolt can reflect on a satisfying weekend all round in Manchester. On Saturday he watched his favourite football team lift the Premier League trophy at Old Trafford. He also pocketed an appearance fee reputed to be in the region of $250,000 (£165,000). Down Deansgate yesterday, the Lightning Bolt looked more like $1m.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention