At least from the spectator’s point of view, life’s a beach for Usain Bolt. So it was fitting that the superstar sprinter’s victorious first 100-meter race of 2014 took place on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro Sunday.
Bolt cruised to victory in 10.06 seconds on the standard four-lane track that was purpose-built for the race, dubbed Mano a Mano. The Jamaican topped Great Britain’s Mark Lewis-Francis, Brazil’s Jefferson Liberato Lucindo and American Wallace Spearmon, but after finishing nearly a full half second off his world-record pace of 9.58 Bolt said he felt ‘sluggish’ and that he needs to compete in races more frequently, according to the AP. Bolt had predicted before the race that he would run a time lower than 10 seconds.
“I felt a bit heavy, and I need to compete in more races… I will be in better shape after that,” Bolt said, according to the Telegraph.
Bolt, who is expected to return to Brazil for his third and final Olympic appearance in the 2016 Rio Olympics, took time before the race to samba with local children and play footvolley – a sport that blends soccer and volleyball – on the iconic Copacabana beach.
Brazil’s Rosangela Santos won the women’s race in 11.33 seconds, beating Jamaica’s Schillonie Calvert and Americans Carmelita Jeter and Cleo VanBuren.