Sports News

Bolt starts season by winning 400 meters heat

KINGSTON (Reuters) - World 100 and 200 meters record holder and Olympic champion Usain Bolt sped to victory in his first race of the season on Saturday, winning a 400 heat in 46.35 seconds at the outdoor Camperdown Classic in Jamaica.

Running in lane five, he got off to a slow start but left his challengers gasping as he passed the early leaders by halfway.

Bolt then coasted the last 150, slowing down toward the finish at the National Stadium East.

“We always find 400 meters tough,” said Bolt’s coach Glen Mills. “I am satisfied with his time.

“I don’t have a problem at all. He ran about the same time last year so that’s good.”

The 22-year-old Bolt, named Jamaica’s Sportsman of the Year on Friday, has a best effort of 45.28 for the 400.

Saturday’s time was faster than the 46.94 he ran in his season-opener last year and quicker than the 47.75 his 100 meters rival, Jamaican former world record holder Asafa Powell, clocked last week in his first outdoor race.

Mills was non-committal as to when Bolt would start running over 100 and 200 in preparation for August’s world championship in Berlin.

“I know he has a 100 race to run in May but that’s as far as I can say,” said Mills.

“We are a bit behind with our training and our preparations because of all the activities we were involved in (after the Olympics) but we have time to work and we are taking our time.”

Editing by Gene Cherry and Tony Jimenez