Usain Bolt won a rarely contested 300m race in 30.97 seconds in rain at the Golden Spike on Thursday.
Bolt, who holds the world records in the 100m and 200m, was boosted by a solid start and cruised to an easy victory, but the wet track, marked by puddles, prevented him from challenging the world mark of 30.85 seconds set by Michael Johnson in Pretoria in 2000.
Fellow Jamaican Jermaine Gonzales clocked 32.49 seconds for second place and Jonathan Borlee of Belgium ran 32.50 seconds for third.
The IAAF does not recognize the 300m world record, as it is not run at major events.
Bolt didn’t blame the rain for not setting a new record.
“I’m used to weather in Europe, I’m getting used to rain,” Bolt said. “I’m not in the shape I was last year or the year before. If I was in a good shape, I think I would get a record.”
He didn’t rule out giving the 300m another try to expand his sprint dominance.
“It was a good run, I really enjoyed it,” he said. “I would do it again some time.”
After his first competitive 300m, however, Bolt didn’t look like he was in a rush to race another.
“I’m done, I’m really tired. I knew it would be painful,” he said. “It’s really hard, especially in the cold weather in Europe, when the air is cool, it’s kind of hard to breathe. The problem was I went too hard in the first 200m. The last 100m were too tough. This distance is a little different than 200m, you can’t compare it.”
While the rain stopped briefly, Bolt’s countryman Asafa Powell led Jamaica’s sweep of the 100m in 9.83 seconds, the world’s best time this season.
On the way, Powell improved the best world time in the 100 yards (91.41m) to 9.07 seconds.
Powell broke the previous best of 9.21 seconds set by Charlie Greene of the US in 1967.
Organizers of the IAAF world challenge series event took the 100 yards split time.
“I was disappointed when I saw the rain, but I was happy then when the rain stopped, shortly before the start,” Powell said. “I’m very satisfied with the time. The weather condition didn’t mean a lot. I feel good, I’m in good shape.”
Lerone Clarke was second in 10.18 seconds and Dexter Lee third in 10.20 seconds.
The IAAF also doesn’t recognize 100 yards for world records as it is no longer raced at major events.
Bolt said he was impressed by Powell’s performance and looked forward to racing him in the 100m at the Diamond League meet in France on July 16, then again at the Van Damme Memorial in August together with Tyson Gay.
Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser, the women’s 100m world and Olympic champion, claimed the women’s 100m in 11.04 seconds, with Chandra Sturrup of the Bahamas second in 11.13 seconds and another Jamaican, Sheri-Ann Brooks, third in 11.17 seconds.
“I’m satisfied that I ran very close to 11 seconds in this crazy weather,” Fraser said.
Kerron Clement of the US, a two-time 400m hurdles world champion, used a strong finish to win in 48.69 seconds, edging Britain’s David Greene in 49.05 seconds and Jamaican Isa Phillips in 49.16 seconds.
Olympic 110m hurdles champ Dayron Robles of Cuba, who set the world record of 12.87 seconds in Ostrava in 2008, crossed in 13.12 seconds in heavy rain, with Petr Svoboda of the Czech Republic second in 13.55 seconds and William Sharman of Britain third in 13.57 seconds.
“The track is fast, it was just the rain,” Robles said. “I’m OK with the time.”