Bolt vows ‘fast’ work in opener

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Bolt vows ‘fast’ work in opener

DAEGU - World and Olympic triple gold medalist Usain Bolt gets his 100-meter season underway at the Daegu Pre-Championships Meeting today and has vowed a “very fast time.”

The Jamaican, who owns the 100-meter world record of 9.58 seconds and the 200-meter world record of 19.19 seconds, will face three other sub 10-second runners at the stadium, which will host next year’s World Championships. They include American Travis Padgett, who clocked 9.92 seconds in the windy Doha Diamond League meet last week, and another Jamaican, Michael Frater, fourth in the Qatari capital with 9.94 seconds. Sixty-meter World Indoor Championships silver medalist Mike Rodgers of the United States will also take part, with a career best of 9.94 seconds from last season.

But none is in same league as Bolt, who opted to start his 100-meter season here to get a feel for the track that will host the Worlds in August 2011.

“I can test the field and run on the track, so I can determine what I should work on for next year,” he said.

The 23-year-old declined to say what time he was targeting, but insisted he would run “as hard as always,” adding: “That’s always my intention, to please the fans. Hopefully, it will be a very fast time.

“My limit? No one knows their limit. I keep training hard and stay focused and work hard,” he said.

Neither of his two main 100-meter rivals, fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell and American Tyson Gay, are running in Daegu, but they have already made clear they are eyeing his world record this year. Powell, powered by a gusting desert wind, stormed to victory in Doha in 9.81 seconds while Gay shattered the 44-year-old world record for the straight line 200-meter on Sunday.

Highlights today include the men’s 110-meter hurdles, where Dayron Robles will commence his outdoor campaign. The 23-year-old Cuban is coming off a strong indoor season, having won the 60-meter hurdles world indoor title.

On the women’s side, the best event looks to be the 100-meter. Carmelita Jeter, the American surprise of the late 2009 season with a blazing 10.64 100-meter personal best in Shanghai in September, will be looking for another good race here. But the competition will be fierce as Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown also starts. AFP

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