• Athletics

Bolt runs fastest 200m of the year at Diamond League

ESPN staff
July 6, 2013
Usain Bolt finished ahead of Warren Weir and Christophe Lemaitre © Getty Images

Usain Bolt ran the fastest 200m of the year at the Diamond League meet in Paris, despite not being fully fit.

The Jamaican ran a time of 19.73 seconds to set a world lead and meeting record, edging compatriot Warren Weir, who ran 19.92, into second place.

Local favourite Christophe Lemaitre was third at 20.07.

"I love Paris, I always feel wonderful here. It's a great crowd," said six-time Olympic champion Bolt, before turning the attention to his fitness.

"When I'm in great shape and I'm at the top of my game, I'm very confident that no-one can beat me because I know what I'm capable of.

"But you can be beaten. There's times when you get injuries, there's times when you're off your game. There's so many different scenarios that can happen.

"I'm getting there. I still need to work on a few mistakes [and] I'm not invincible."

Elsewhere, Britain's Olympic champion Greg Rutherford jumped 7.99m in the third round of the long jump before pulling out due to a hamstring injury. Fellow Brit Chris Tomlinson finished second with a jump of 8.08m, just shy of Damar Forbes' winning length of 8.11m.

Britain's European indoor 400m champion Perri Shakes-Drayton ran outside her season best, but still took second in the 400m hurdles in 53.96 seconds behind Olympic bronze medallist Zuzanna Hejnova, who recorded a time of 53.23.

"I have two more races to go," 24-year-old Shakes-Drayton told the BBC as she continues her preparations for the World Championships in Moscow.

"I am going to the trials next weekend, I have not made the team yet so that will be important, then I have the Anniversary Games in London."

Fastest 200m times of 2013

  • Usain Bolt (Jam) 19.73 seconds
  • Tyson Gay (US) 19.74
  • Usain Bolt (Jam) 19.79
  • Warren Weir (Jam) 19.79
  • Isiah Young (US) 19.86

Another Briton, Marilyn Okoro, achieved World Championship A standard in the 800m with a time of her one minute 59.76 seconds, which was enough for fifth place behind winner Francine Niyonsaba, who ran 1.57.26.

"I am really happy," Okoro said. "It has been an interesting few months, but my coach said I was ready.

"A tremendous amount of pressure comes off now ahead of the trials. Now I have got the A standard, I just have to focus on finishing in the top two."

Okoro's GB team-mate Steve Lewis finished sixth in the pole vault, equalling his season's best of 5.60m, with France's Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie claiming victory with a jump of 5.92m.

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