Usain Bolt blew away the competition in Oslo on Thursday night to take the 100m title at the Bislett Games. Half-way through the race it looked as if his countryman and main rival for Olympic Gold, Asafa Powell, would take the victory. But Bolt clicked up a gear and accelerated past Powell with breathless ease. Astonishing – give that man Olympic Gold now.
The Bislett Games is an annual athletics meet in Oslo, now part of the international Diamond League series. It takes place at the historic Bislett Stadium, a stone’s throw from the city centre. The meet hosts many different track and field disciplines from long jump and pole vault to the Dream Mile, but this night was all about Usain Bolt – and he didn’t disappoint the Oslo crowd.
The weather was great and this may have given some of the athletes a somewhat false impression of the Scandinavian climate. Murielle Ahoure, winner of the women's 200m, said she was enjoying herself so much with the “friendly people and the weather” that she could definitely live in Oslo. I wonder if she's experienced a Norwegian winter in the Ivory Coast? 🙂
It was a disappointing evening for the British contingent, as both Mark Lewis-Francis and Jessica Ennis, whose false starts caused their disqualification from the men's 100m and women's 100m hurdles respectively. The face of London 2012 Lord Coe was present but his bizarre interview with NRK focused more on his tenuous family links to Jamaica than anything interesting, except for a quick, “yes everything's going fine for London!” – such was the obsession with Bolt.
Bolt looked relaxed the entire evening, joking around and acting up for the crowd. Perhaps this distraction explained the slow start, but despite that he still finished first in 9.79 seconds. Such was the ferocious speed of his finish, he sent the flower girl tumbling, but the red-faced Norwegian didn't seem to mind a face full of Bolt. My spies tell me he then spent the night DJing and socialising in a club on Hegdehaugsveien…
Roll on London 2012!