KINGSTON (Reuters) - Jamaican triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt opened his 2012 season with a sizzling anchor leg as his Racers Track Club logged a world leading time of 37.82 seconds in a 4x100 meters relay on Saturday.
Despite his impressive run, he was forced to share the spotlight with team mate Yohan Blake, who sounded a warning of things to come at the London Olympics by running the year’s fastest 100 meters.
The world champion, who teamed with Bolt on the relay, blitzed home in an impressive 9.90 seconds despite an ordinary start to his first 100 meters of the season.
Bolt, who had twice delayed his season opener in February for undisclosed reasons, did not run an individual event, but easily outpaced compatriot and former 100 meters world record holder Asafa Powell to win the relay by 10 meters in cool, wet conditions.
“It was my first run and I am happy I got through,” the 100 and 200 meters Olympic champion and world record holder said.
“It was a bit chilly with some rain but this is what we are used to in Europe so it is OK.”
Bolt’s team of Mario Forsythe, Blake and Kimmari Roach had given him a three meters lead before he added to the distance against Powell of the rival MVP Track Club team, which crossed the line in 38.27.
“For me, it’s just about execution,” said Bolt, who expects to defend both sprint titles in London.
“I have been working on my start. Last year that eluded me, but I have to work my way through it this season so I am just looking forward to getting that done.”
The lanky sprinter, who retained his 200 meters world title last year after false starting in the 100 meters final won by Blake, said his preparations for London were going well.
”Everything is coming together,“ he said. We have about 100 days to go before the Olympics so I am just taking my time and working on what I need to.”
He said his coach, Glen Mills, made the decision to delay his season until Saturday.
Blake, also coached by Mills, had run relays and a 400 meters this year, but this was his first all-out sprint and he responded by delivering the first sub 10-second time of the young season.
“I didn’t get the best start, but I recovered well,” he said. “I could have run faster if I had some competition.”
He, too, said he was pleased with his preparations for a season that will likely match him and Bolt in the Olympic 100 meters final.
”I am a bit ahead of schedule, but coach is pulling me back a bit,“ he said. But everything will work out fine.”
Editing by Gene Cherry/John O'Brien