Bolt shuns million-dollar prize pot

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The Independent Online

The race for the $1m (£600,000) jackpot in the International Association of Athletics Federations' Golden League series gets under way in Berlin tomorrow without the athlete who looked $1m at the Olympic Games in Beijing last year.

Usain Bolt will be on the track in the Olympic Stadium in the German capital this summer, but chasing gold medals at the World Championships in August not the pot of dollars on offer to any athlete who can get through the six-meeting Golden League season undefeated.

Having claimed a reported $250,000 for precisely 10.00sec of winning 100m work on a rain-sodden track in Toronto late on Thursday ("I guess you could put it down as a bad day for me"), Bolt is getting ready for his first race on the 2009 European track circuit – the 100m at the Golden Spike meeting at Ostrava in the Czech Republic on Wednesday. In his absence in Berlin, the spotlight will fall on Kenenisa Bekele. The Ethiopian completed a rare Olympic double at 5,000m and 10,000m last summer but has been hit by injury. Two weeks ago he failed to finish a 1,500m race.