MONACO, France, Sporting Alert — Usain Bolt clocked 9.95 seconds in his final race before the London World Championships at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco on Friday.
Bolt, who got off a slow start before working his way to the front, was running a season’s best as he tests his fitness ahead of the showdown with some of the world’s best in two weeks time.
The Jamaican world record holder who announced that he will retire at the end of this season, has raced sparingly in 2017 and the race in Monaco, was only his third 100m for the year.
Bolt got off to a slow start but managed to pull through for the win, running his first sub-10 second for the season, as he carried American Isiah Young.
Young finished with a time of 9.98 seconds and he was happy with the performance.
“I was thinking you would need 9.8 to win today, but at the end of the day it was 9.9 what made it,” the U.S. sprinter said.
“I m happy I was there and so close to Bolt at the end of his great career.”
He added: “A couple of days ago I was told I will run the 200m in London so this sub 10 is great preparation for that.
“I need to execute well and then I can attack a medal in that event.”
Akani Simbine of South Africa was third in 10.02, the same time as Great Britain’s Chijindu Ujah.
Jamaica’s Olympic 110m hurdles gold medallist Omar McLeod was supposed to be in the race as well but the lineup was changed prior to the race.
Meanwhile, another world record holder, South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk pulled away from Botswana’s Isaac Makwala in the closing stages of the race to win the men’s 400m in a swift time of 43.73 seconds.
Van Niekerk, who also owns the world’s fast time this year, got off to a brisk start, and was challenged midway through the race by Makwala.
However, the Olympic champion dug deep to ease away from his rival and head to London in confident form.
“It was great performance today, I’m feeling positive about it,” said Van Niekerk.
“My body feels to be in great shape and this win from behind gives me lot of confidence. We still are not peaking, we trained hard last week, all should be ok for London and my double.
“I was forced to change my plan when I saw Isaac in front in last 100 m. All went well. Ready for the big plan.
Makwala was also impressive after he clocked a season’s best of 43.85 for second place.
His fellow country Baboloki Thebe was third in 44.26.