Double Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt made his seasonal debut easing home in his 400m heat in 46.71 seconds at the Camperdown Classic yesterday at the National Stadium.
But it was his teammate Warren Weir, who did the fastest time in heat three, stopping the clock at 46.21 seconds in upstaging Yohan Blake, who finished second in 46.64 seconds.
Bolt, who said he normally misses the early part of the season, indicated that he had butterflies for his season opener.
“I have never been so nervous for running a 400m, but overall it was a good race, and I felt all right; so it was good,” he told a throng of reporters after warming down.
Bolt, 26, who has a personal best of 45.28 done in 2007, said he wasn't concerned about the time after easing home.
“I didn't really matter about the time.
For me it was just to complete the race, and I will probably have one more or two for the season, depending on what the coach wants,” said Bolt.
“Physically it was OK, it felt good, not as good as I usually feel, but it was a smooth race, so I can't complain as I wasn't as tied up in the finish,” he explained.
Meanwhile, 100m World Champion Blake and his Racers Track Club mate, the Olympic 200m bronze medallist, Weir, battled in heat three with Weir coming home in 46.21 and looking very much an established quarter-miler.
Blake, looking muscular, was second in 46.64, a bit slower than his opener last season, where he did 46.4, but said he felt stronger than ever.
“I was looking to repeat it (46.4), but I started training a bit late...
I feel strong and I tested myself to go out in the first part and I felt pretty good.” Blake, who at age 21, became the youngest 100m World Champion, said he is ready to defend his title this year in Moscow.
“Trust me, my training is going really well, and I am confident, and with the World Championships coming up, to defend my title.
Coach Mills is working on the different parts of my race, I feel good,” ended Blake.