Bolt suffers shock defeat to Gay

World record holder Usain Bolt lost his first 100m final in over two years when he was beaten into second by American Tyson Gay at a Diamond League meeting in Stockholm.

Gay got a good start and was narrowly ahead by halfway before storming clear to win in a meeting record of 9.84 seconds for his first victory over Bolt.

The Jamaican triple Olympic champion, who had looked out of sorts in suffering his first defeat in 15 100m finals, was second in 9.94.

Bolt’s previous loss was also in Stockholm in July 2008 when he finished behind compatriot Asafa Powell, who missed Friday’s race because of a back injury.

“I know Usain Bolt is not in his best shape, but I’m still happy with the victory”, said Gay.

“My body worked well today, I was excited and motivated. The start was OK but I must admit I was surprised not seeing Usain in front after half the race,” added Gay.

The American received a one-carat diamond for breaking the stadium record and planned to give it to his mother.

It was only the third occasion the two fastest sprinters of all time over 100m had met in competition.

Their two previous clashes, at last year’s World Championships and in New York in 2008, resulted in world records for Bolt.

But the 23-year-old Jamaican has been troubled by an Achilles tendon problem this season and is unable to run over 200m for fear of further injury.

“I need to work on my strength, my strength is really low”, said Bolt, adding he had been put off when the athletes were twice asked to stand up from the blocks before the start of the race.

“I start fastest when the gun fires quickly, that’s when I’m ready to go,” he said.

Bolt, whose world record stands at 9.58 seconds, Gay and Powell are scheduled to race over 100m at the final Diamond League meeting in Brussels on August 27.

In other top-flight action, Sweden’s ace triple jumper Christian Olsson showed welcome signs of a return to form after a heel injury which kept him out of last week’s European championships in Barcelona.

Former world and Olympic champion, Olsson was delighted with his second place to Teddy Tamgho of France and a season-best of 17.32m.

“Second place, four centimetres behind number one. He’s probably number one in the world even though he didn’t win the European championship. I must be pleased with that,” said Olsson.

Croatia’s European high jump champion Blanka Vlasic defied fatigue to claim her fifth straight Diamond League victory over Chaunte Lowe of the US who had to be content with second again.

“I was so empty after the Europeans,” said Vlasic. “I expected to be more fresh but I guess I wasted too much energy.”

Local favourite and European silver medallist Emma Green came third.

American sprinter Allyson Felix was critical of her own performance, despite winning the women’s 200m.

The world champion said: “It didn’t go as well as I would have wanted it to, I wanted to execute a little better.

“I think I floated coming off the curve and I just didn’t execute the last 100.”

Dariya Klishina of Russia won the women’s long jump in 6.78m, beating Brittney Reese of the US by three centimetres.

“I missed Barcelona so this is something special for me, the first Diamond League win of my career,” said Klishina.

Reuters

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