Usain Bolt storms to victory in 200m and puts down Rio marker

ByTom Hamilton ESPN logo
Saturday, July 23, 2016

LONDON -- Usain Bolt put down a marker ahead of the Rio Olympics as he won the 200 meters at the Anniversary Games with a time of 19.89 seconds.

It was the reigning Olympic champion's first 200 of the year. He was forced to pull out of the Jamaica trials with a hamstring injury, but any doubts over his fitness and form were allayed Friday as he stormed to victory at the stadium where he took three gold medals at London 2012.

After a false start by Sean McLean and then an interruption due to interference from the PA system, Bolt stormed home. Alonso Edward was second and Adam Gemili third.

Bolt who was the biggest draw at the Anniversary Games and received a huge roar when he was paraded around the track in front of the watching fans on the back of a car. The roars rose when he stormed home to his 200-meter triumph, but he was visibly frustrated after the delayed start to the race.

"I'm getting there. I'm not fully in shape. I need more work," Bolt said. "But over time I'll be fine, I'll just keep doing the work.

"It wasn't perfect. I came off the corner the corner trying to hold my form. I'm happy with my execution and hopefully my coach is.

"I'm definitely happy I could come here and finish the race with no injuries. I'm going to Rio to defend my titles."

Bolt had to prove his fitness to the Jamaica selectors after he was forced to pull out of the trials for the Olympics due to his hamstring injury. Having completed his first 200 of 2016, he will now return to Jamaica for further training before he looks to defend his 100, 200 and 4x100 titles in Rio, looking to complete a "triple-triple" in the process.

The hamstring strain came at an unfortunate time, just 35 days before the start of the Rio Games. But Bolt seems to have fully recovered and his troublesome back is also behaving, with him saying on Thursday it was "OK" and it would hold up so he can "compete and stay on track".

After winning the 200 at the Anniversary Games, his sole focus is now Rio where he will lock horns with rival Justin Gatlin, who won both the 100 and 200 at the U.S. Olympic trials with times of 9.8 and 19.75 seconds, respectively.