Bolt lifts Rome blues with classy Oslo win

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Bolt lifts Rome blues with classy Oslo win

Usain Bolt banished any blues he felt from losing to Justin Gatlin over 100m last week by scorching to an impressive victory in 19.79 seconds in the 200m in the Diamond League meet in Oslo Thursday.


The Jamaican sprint star raced to a Bislett Games meet record and world lead time of 19.79 seconds to finish well ahead of a weak field made worse when his closest rival, Dutchman Churandy Martina, was disqualified for a false start.

Bolt made sure he was well away at the second time of asking to rebound from just his fifth defeat on the track since the 2008 Beijing Olympics with an awesome display of power both around the bend and also down the home stretch.

"It's a very good start for my first 200m (of the season). I'll now go home and work on everything else. I'll aim to go even faster," said Bolt, whose next outing will be at the Jamaican national trials ahead of August 10-18th world championships in Moscow.

While Bolt shone, there were, however, off-days for Trinidad and Tobago's Olympic javelin champion Keshorn Walcott and former two-time world high jump champion Blanka Vlasic of Croatia.

Walcott's best of 77.03m saw him finish 10th and last in a competition won by Czech Vitezslav Vesely (85.96m). Norway's two-time former Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen was sixth with 80.99m.

Vlasic, chasing a fifth victory in her ninth appearance at the Bislett Games, only made four attempts in the women's high jump, succeeding just once at 1.85m for an early exit in a competition won by Russian Svetlana Shkolina (1.97m) ahead of Sweden's Emma Green Tregaro and world and Olympic champ Anna Chicherova (both 1.95m).

"It wasn't my day," said Vlasic, making her comeback from a nine-month injury lay-off. "When the competition started, I was emotionally totally empty.

"I wasn't able to push off, the last three steps were without push or power."

In what was dubbed the best men's steeple field ever assembled, Kenyans took the first six places in a dominant showing led by 18-year-old tyro Conseslus Kipruto in 8min 04.48sec, 3sec off his world lead set in Shanghai.

Aided by two Kenyan pacemakers, Kipruto, the bronze medallist at the London Olympics, beat home two-time Olympic and world champion Ezekiel Kemboi and Hillary Yego but failed to dip under the magical 8min mark.

"I was confident despite the fact that Kemboi is Olympic champion, a very tough guy and hard to beat," beamed Kipruto as he continued his unbeaten form this season.

Twice Olympic champion Meseret Defar of Ethiopia set a cracking new world lead time of 14min 26.91sec to win the 5000m.

Leading through the bell, Defar accelerated from 250 metres to leave Kenyan Viola Kibiwot and Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba trailing in her wake.

"I felt very comfortable through the race," said Defar. "I knew I have the shape. I think I'm even in world record shape, but was not confident enough to try for it."

Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic finished in fourth in a slow men's 400m won by Saudi Arabia's Youssef Ahmed Masrahi in 45.33sec.

It was the first ever win by a Saudi in a running event in the Diamond League, and Masrahi expressed hope that his American coach, the legendary John Smith, would be "satisfied" when he returned to his training base in Los Angeles.

"This is very important for me towards the goal I have and that is a medal in Moscow," said Masrahi, who only took up the one-lap race in 2008.



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