World record helps Bolt find redemption

Click to follow
The Independent Online

For the second Sunday in succession, Usain Bolt was a figure of isolation in Daegu Stadium. Seven days previously, in the immediate aftermath of his false start disqualification from the 100 metres final, he went pacing off into a quiet alcove at trackside, fuming at his own impetuosity, while the rest of the field chased down the track after the title he had won in world-record time in Berlin in 2009. Had Bolt not jumped the gun, in all probability his rivals would have been running for a silver lining.

It just so happened that Yohan Blake, the training partner who capitalised on Bolt's self-inflicted misfortune, was the runner who handed the baton to the world's fastest man at the last exchange in the 4 x 100m relay final yesterday. The chances are that Bolt would have been haring away into the distance had Harry Aikines-Ayreetey, Britain's designated last leg runner, not accidentally caught the incoming Darvis Patton, sending the American crashing to the floor, in turn baulking Trinidad's Richard Thompson on his way.

The outcome for Britain and the US was a spilled baton and a "DNF'"on the result sheet. Not that there was any of that commotion for the Lightning Bolt. He sped off in splendid isolation, taking a Jamaica team missing the injured Asafa Powell to victory in 37.04sec – an improvement of 0.06sec on the world record they set with Powell in tow in Berlin.

The winning margin was equally impressive. It took 1.16sec for the runners-up to cross the line, the French quartet taking silver ahead of St Kitts and Nevis.

"For me, the aim was just to go out there fast," Bolt said after his post-race celebratory jiving. "We did just that and I am proud of my team. I am happy with myself. I enjoyed being the anchor. I had a little problem with my Achilles. I can't run the bend, so it was decided I would run the anchor. Yohan ran a great bend."

Which was more than Bolt did in the 200m final on Saturday – at least, according to the man himself after he had eased the disappointment of the 100m by winning the longer event in 19.40sec, a time that only the Jamaican and Michael Johnson have ever bettered. "I didn't run a perfect corner," Bolt maintained. "If I had run a good corner, I could have come into the straight and done much better. But I'm happy."