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Page last updated at 07:09 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 08:09 UK

Bolt and Gay excel during trials

Usain Bolt
Bolt (left) looks across at rivals Michael Frater and Asafa Powell

World 100m record holder Usain Bolt completed a sprint double at Jamaica's national championships to secure his place at this summer's Olympics.

He ran 9.85 seconds to beat rival Asafa Powell in the 100m on Saturday and won the 200m in 19.97 secs a day later.

The 21-year-old's main rival in Beijing could be Tyson Gay, who ran the fastest 100m of all-time, a wind-assisted 9.68 secs, at the American trials.

Gay's time does not count as a world record because of a strong tailwind.

However, Gay had already moved to third on the all-time 100m list behind Bolt and Powell with a quarter-final time of 9.77 secs in legal wind conditions on Saturday.

His effort on Sunday was achieved with a 4.1m/sec tailwind, surpassing a 9.69 run by Obadele Thompson of Barbados in 1996 that had a 5m/sec boost.

"It means a lot to me," Gay said. "I'm glad to know my body can go that fast. I know I can do it now. I was thrilled."

Despite his time, Gay believes all the pressure will be on Bolt in Beijing.

"I still don't think I'm going to have a lot of pressure on me, even though I ran that time," he added.

"Regardless, it was wind-aided so when we go to the next big race, Usain is still going to be the world record holder."

The challenge posed by the American sprinters was further in evidence as Walter Dix took second behind Gay in 9.80, with Darvis Patton third in 9.84 and Travis Padgett missing out on an Olympics spot despite running 9.85.

Despite Bolt's double success, an Olympic showdown against Gay over the shorter distance may not materialise as Bolt refused to confirm if he will compete in the 100m.

His coach Glen Mills said they would wait until August before deciding on whether he would double up as he aims to become only the ninth man to win both sprint titles at the Olympics, and the first since Carl Lewis in 1984.

Bolt will decide over 100m in August

Bolt broke the 100m world record mark, which had been held by Powell, with a time of 9.72 secs in New York on 31 May but the 21-year-old sees the 200m as his stronger event.

"We will not decide until August, when we have to let the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association know," said Mills.

"The problem is that when we started the season, our plan was to run the 200m only. We have to be careful how we seesaw with that plan. So we are taking it very seriously. We are not going to be rushed into making a firm decision."

Mills confirmed that Bolt would run only once more at 100m before the Olympics.

606: DEBATE
And he appeared to rule out doing it at the London Grand Prix in July.

"When we go to Europe, we are going to run the 200m in London and Athens. After that we will have enough information with which to make a decision," he stated.

"He has yet to do his best in the 200m because we have put that on hold for the 100m."

Meanwhile, women's 100m world champion and 200m Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown suffered mixed fortunes as she failed to book her place in China over 100m before winning the 200m.

The Jamaican clocked the year's best time of 21.94 secs in the 200m but a season's best 10.88 secs in the 100m still resulted in her finishing fourth behind Kerron Stewart (10.80), Shelly-Ann Fraser (10.85) and Sherone Simpson (10.87).


see also
GB athletes want Chambers rethink
30 Jun 08 |  Athletics
Chambers well inside Olympic mark
28 Jun 08 |  Athletics
Bolt targets double Olympic gold
27 Jun 08 |  Athletics
Bolt undecided on sprint double
03 Jun 08 |  Athletics
Sins of others hold back Bolt
02 Jun 08 |  Athletics
Bolt from the blue
01 Jun 08 |  Athletics
Bolt sets new 100m world record
01 Jun 08 |  Athletics


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