Usain Bolt held off an unaccomplished field to win his last race before his farewell world championships, clocking 9.95 seconds in a 100m in Monaco on Friday.
Bolt edged American Isiah Young by .03 in his third 100m race this season. It’s Bolt’s first time clocking sub-10 since the Rio Olympics.
“I’m going into right direction, still lot of work to do,” Bolt said, according to the IAAF. “Sub-10 always good.”
Bolt has one meet left before retirement, the world championships in London that start in two weeks. Bolt is slated to race the 100m and 4x100m at the 2012 Olympic Stadium.
None of Bolt’s top rivals raced against him in Monaco — Yohan Blake, Christian Coleman, Andre De Grasse and Justin Gatlin.
His time on Friday was not particularly impressive, but it was the fastest by any man outside of his home country this year. Even Bolt has admitted it has been a slow year overall for men’s sprinters.
In other events, Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk was pushed by Botswana’s Isaac Makwala in the 400m, winning in 43.73 seconds. Makwala clocked 43.84, testing the South African more than any runner since 2015. Van Niekerk holds the world record of 43.03 and the fastest time of 2017 of 43.62.
Ajee’ Wilson shattered the U.S. women’s 800m record in finishing third behind Olympic champion Caster Semenya. Wilson clocked 1:55.61, taking .79 off Jearl Miles Clark‘s record from 1999.
Semenya, who hasn’t lost an 800m since September 2015, lowered her national record by .01 to win by two tenths over Rio silver medalist Francine Niyonsaba in 1:55.27.
World-record holder Keni Harrison edged countrywoman Sharika Nelvis, 12.51 to 12.52, in the 100m hurdles. It was well off Harrison’s world record of 12.20 from 2016 and 12.28 from July 4.
Kenyan Elijah Manangoi ran the fastest 1500m in the world in two years, winning in 3:28.80. Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz was ninth (3:34.43). World champion Asbel Kiprop was 11th (3:34.91).
Olympic silver medalist Evan Jager won the 3000m steeplechase by 6.39 seconds in 8:01.29, the fastest time in the world this year by 3.34 seconds. Rio gold medalist Conseslus Kipruto withdrew before the race with an ankle injury.
Kori Carter led a U.S. one-two in the women’s 400m hurdles. She clocked 53.36 to hold off 2015 World champion Shamier Little, who crossed in 54.02. Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad, who has the fastest time of 2017 of 52.64, was not in Monaco.
The Diamond League takes a break for worlds before returning in Birmingham, Great Britain, on Aug. 20.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!Follow @nzaccardi