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Page last updated at 06:05 GMT, Sunday, 1 June 2008 07:05 UK

Bolt sets new 100m world record

Bolt thinks winning Olympic gold would be a greater achievement

Usain Bolt set a new 100m world record by clocking 9.72 seconds at the Reebok Grand Prix meeting in New York.

The 21-year-old Jamaican, who won silver in the 200m at last year's World Championships, was running the 100m for just the fifth time.

Bolt beats the previous best of 9.74 set by compatriot Asafa Powell.

"I wasn't looking for a world record but it was there for the taking so I just went out there and ran my best race," he said.

The record-breaking time was ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations on 4 August.

Bolt beat Tyson Gay into second place, with the American running a personal best of 9.85.

The 6ft 5in Bolt made the track world sit up and take notice on 3 May when he clocked the second-fastest 100m time in history, 9.76 seconds.

Bolt has made no secret of the fact that he sees himself as a 200m specialist and earlier in the week he was still undecided if he would even enter the 100m Jamaican Olympic trials.

9.72 U Bolt, New York 2008
9.74 A Powell, Rieti 2007
9.77 A Powell, Athens 2005
9.79 M Greene, Athens 1999
9.84 D Bailey, Atlanta 1996
9.85 L Burrell, Lausanne 1994
9.86 C Lewis, Tokyo 1991
9.90 L Burrell, New York 1991
9.92 C Lewis, Seoul 1988
9.93 C Smith, Colorado 1983
9.95 J Hines, Mexico 1968
However, after becoming the fastest man on the planet he confirmed he would now double up in Beijing: "I'm definitely going to run the 100 in the Olympics.

"I've just got to concentrate now and work on my 200 some more, because I haven't been doing a lot of 200 work."

And despite setting the world record, Bolt still considers the Olympics to be the big prize.

"I don't think there's any comparison between the two," he said. "You've got to be Olympic champion or world champion to really count.

"Tomorrow if someone comes and runs faster than me I'm no longer the fastest man in the world. If you're the Olympic champion then they have to wait four more years to get you again.

"I think the Olympics is the biggest thing, so I'm looking for that, definitely."

Bolt has primarily used the shorter distance to improve his start and admitted he was happy there had been a false start the first time he went into the blocks.

Matt Slater
"I was glad of that first false start," he said. "My first start wasn't that good but I knew if I got Tyson on the start I would have a better chance of winning.

"Tyson and I aren't really good at starting so, my coach said concentrate on your drive (out of the blocks) and transition phase, get it right and just take it from there and I did exactly that."

He added: "I got out well. I've been working on my start for a while. I think I did good work today on my start. I'm just happy with myself."

see also
Bolt from the blue
01 Jun 08 |  Athletics
Bolt races to second fastest 100m
04 May 08 |  Athletics
Sprinter Powell suffers setback
29 Apr 08 |  Athletics
Powell smashes 100m world record
09 Sep 07 |  Athletics
Gay sprints to second Worlds gold
30 Aug 07 |  Athletics
Team GB for Beijing
21 May 08 |  Team GB
Athletics on the BBC
28 May 08 |  Athletics

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