Bolt still has more to prove

Bolt still has more to prove

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — Usain Bolt still has plenty to run for when he settles into the blocks for the 100 metres on Friday at the Van Damme Memorial.

The Jamaican sprinter, who was disqualified from the 100 at the world championships for a false start, has only the sixth-best time of the year at 9.85 seconds. But in his last race of the season, Bolt will be looking to beat the season's top time of 9.78 seconds run by teammate Asafa Powell.

Despite a horrid start in Zagreb yesterday in his first race since the worlds, Bolt clocked 9.85, only .07 seconds shy of Powell's mark. And the world-record holder will find one of his favorite tracks in the world at the King Baudouin Stadium, where he a ran blistering 9.77 seconds into a headwind three years ago.

"It should be good," Bolt said hours after arriving from Zagreb, "Definitely. I think I can do it. I've run very fast on this track."

Weather predictions call for ideal conditions on Friday.

No one doubts Bolt's speed once he hits full stride — it is his release from the blocks that has been the problem this season.

In a stunning few seconds at the world championships late last month, Bolt jumped the gun in the 100-metre final before Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake won gold instead. It was a huge surprise that Bolt blamed on a bout of anxiety at the worst moment.

He has not false started since but looked hesitant and slow out of the block in all his races since.

"It is hard to put it out because it is really fresh, but I have to deal with it," Bolt said.

Tough enough, as he found out in Zagreb. He reacted slow to the gun again and trailed veteran Kim Collins until past halfway before his giant stride made the difference.

"I looked really bad. I was at the back of the pack," he said. "I lost focus for a few seconds."

Brussels gives him one more chance to correct that before he heads into a monthlong holiday with the London Olympics already firmly on his mind.

"I am going to get better next season," Bolt said of his start. "It is going to be fine."

Pushing him in Brussels will be Jamaican teammate Nesta Carter and American rival Justin Gatlin.

Because of his size of 1.93 metres, Bolt will never be the fastest starter, but he realises there is room for improvement.

"Definitely over the 100 metres: the first 30, 40 is always ... get stronger, run straight, not look around," he said.

And get going as fast as possible once the starting gun sounds. Not before.

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