Bolt sizzles even at 95 per cent

Usain Bolt was in blistering form
again at the JN Jamaica International Invitational at the National Stadium on
Saturday night.

He ran a spine-chilling 19.56 second
200 metres to send an early-warning shot to his rivals in what was the
fourth-fastest time recorded over the distance.

Bolt could do no wrong for the
capacity crowd, and the effervescent showman demonstrated his appreciation to
the fans by doing a lap around the track after the event to return their

He said: “I had to come out
here and give Jamaica a good show. This is the first time that the meet has had
this kind of crowd support, so I couldn’t come out here and mess around, I had
to give the people what they came here for.

“I did my best and I hope they
appreciate it.”

The American pair of Wallace
Spearmon, 19.98secs, and Ryan Bailey, 20.43secs, were a distant second and
third, respectively, as the double-world record holder stamped his authority on
the field, while admitting that he does have a few things to correct before the
season gets into full swing.

“This has set me up really
well. In previous seasons, I probably wouldn’t have done so well at this point
of the season, but I came here and ran my heart out, I gave it a good
shot,” said Bolt.

“I’m pretty much about 95 per
cent ready and I’m feeling good. I have a lot more work to do and I have about
a month and a half before I get into the full swing of competition.

“I went out there to see where
I’m at. It’s my first real race for the season, so I went out there to get my
confidence right and to get settled for the rest of the season, and 19.56secs
is very good.”

The towering 23-year-old is still
not certain about his participation at this year’s Commonwealth Games in India,
but is already looking forward to facing the likes of compatriot Asafa Powell
and American Tyson Gay.

This year will also
see the return of US sprinter Justin Gatlin, who was banned from the sport for
four years for allegedly using performance-enhancement substances.