LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Usain Bolt won the 100 meters at the Athletissima meet in 9.82 seconds Thursday, returning from an Achilles’ tendon injury to match the year’s fastest time.
The Jamaican beat countryman Yohan Blake (9.96) and Churandy Martina (10.16) of the Netherlands Antilles in a race created for Bolt after he pulled out of the 200 meters in the Diamond League event.
On a sweltering, airless night, Bolt equaled Asafa Powell’s time of 9.82 in Rome on June 10. The two Jamaicans will meet in Paris next week.
“It’s going to be something big,” Bolt said.
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Bolt, the Olympic and world champion in the 100 and 200, said his Achilles’ tendon was still “slightly” painful during the race. Still, he exceeded his expectations of a 9.88 finish and said he hopes to return to the 200 before the end of the season, provided his doctor gives the OK.
Cuba’s Dayron Robles won the 110-meter hurdles in 13.01 seconds. He was followed by Americans Ryan Wilson in 13.21 and David Payne in 13.22.
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American Walter Dix, who had been due to race Bolt in the 200, won that race in 19.86 seconds. Martina was second in 20.08, and Xavier Carter of the United States finished third in 20.15.
“I was very disappointed Bolt was not running, but it feels good to be leading the Diamond League today,” Dix said.
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Fellow American Jeremy Wariner set a world season best in the 400, winning in 44.57 seconds ahead of countryman Lajerald Betters in 44.70. Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica was third in 44.72.
In the women’s 1,500 meters, Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka also ran the fastest time in the world this season, finishing in 3 minutes, 59.28 seconds. Ibtissam Lakhouad of Morocco, who lost the race in the final meters, finished in 3:59.35. Kenyan Nancy Jebet Langat came third with 4:00.13.
Some athletes, including Russian high jumper Ivan Ukhov, complained about noise in the stands from vuvuzelas, the ear-buzzing World Cup horns adopted by a handful of track fans.