Bolt clocks season best 9.85 in 100 at Zagreb

Bolt clocks season best 9.85 in 100 at Zagreb

Bolt, who false-started in Daegu to end his hopes of defending his world title, shaved 0.03 seconds off his previous fastest time this year 9.88 at Monaco in June on a warm, still night.

"It was a poor start," said Bolt, the world and Olympic record-holder. "I kind of lost concentration and just went through the line. It was OK, I suppose, but I could have done better, especially with the weather like that."

Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis ran a season-best 10.01 seconds to finish second, ahead of Trinidad's Richard Thompson at 10.03.

There was standing room only at the 61st Boris Hanzekovic Memorial, where Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and club official Emilio Butragueno arrived in time to see Bolt in action. Madrid kicks off its Champions League campaign at Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday.

"It was wonderful, the crowd here," Bolt said. "I loved that they were excited and that the fans come up to me. I'm always grateful for that."However, security had trouble controlling the crowd as "Boltmania" took hold when he celebrated with delirious fans. "It's not as bad in Jamaica, where they see me every day," Bolt laughed.

The Jamaican star's news conference was cut short when too many journalists tried to force their way into the room.

The appearance of local favorite Blanka Vlasic in the women's high jump also delighted the home crowd, although she eventually succumbed to world champion Anna Chicherova.

Both cleared 2 meters, with Chicherova declared the winner after Vlasic who was carrying a leg injury missed on the first attempt.

"It was important for me to clear 2 meters today. It will be difficult to improve this season," Vlasic said. "I'm delighted that the fans were treated to a spectacular meet because I practically grew up in this stadium."

In the men's 100 hurdles, Cuba's world record holder Dayron Robles beat world champion Jason Richardson for the second race in a row.

Robles finished first at the world championships but was disqualified for impeding Liu Xiang of China, giving Richardson of the U.S. the gold. Richardson, who was also beaten by Robles at the Weltklasse in Zurich last week, set a personal best of 13.04 seconds, but Robles won in 13.00. David Oliver of the U.S. was third in 13.20.

Carmelita Jeter claimed the women's 100 in 11.00. The American was pushed hard to the line by Schillonie Calvert of Jamaica, who finished in 11.13, with Bulgaria's Ivet Lalova third in 11.33.

"Hopefully I'll come back next year. I've enjoyed myself so much so far," Jeter said.
Calvert won the 200, setting a personal best to clock 22.55 ahead of fellow Jamaican Sherone Simpson in 22.95 and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie of the Bahamas in 22.97.
In the women's 100 hurdles, world champion Sally Pearson followed up her success at the Weltklasse in Zurich to claim the gold in 12.67.

"Relief more than anything. I came into this meeting a bit tired," Pearson said.
Lashawn Merrit of the United States claimed the men's 400 in 45.20 seconds after a slow start, finishing ahead of compatriot Greg Nixon (45.73) and Trinidad's Renny Quow (45.95).

Jamaica's Novlene Williams Mills set a meet record of 50.31 seconds to win the women's 400.

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