Usain Bolt was fast and impressive at the Athletissima Diamond League meeting on Thursday. Yohan Blake was fast and maybe even more impressive.
Bolt, the Olympic champion and world record holder over 100 and 200 meters, timed 19.58 seconds in the fastest 200 ever run at the speedy Lausanne track.
Yet he was almost overshadowed by Blake, his Jamaican friend and rival who 20 minutes earlier closed the gap between them in the all-time 100 rankings.
Blake, a two-time Olympic silver medalist behind Bolt, clocked 9.69 to become the joint second-fastest man in history.
“9.69 is a wonderful result,” said Bolt, who ran that time when setting a then-world record at the 2008 Olympics. “I knew he is going to push real hard tonight.”
Blake, fighting off a post-London Games cold, overcame a slight headwind to shave .06 off his previous best. He ran 9.75 to beat Bolt in the Jamaican Olympic trials in June and the same time again when his training partner finished in 9.63 to defend his Olympic title earlier this month.
“I knew I was fast and my coach told me I could run faster,” said Blake, who shares coach Glen Mills with Bolt. “Today I could finally prove it.”
Blake made a fast start and an impressive driving finish to equal the 9.69 run by Tyson Gay of the United States in 2009. Gay trailed in Blake’s wake Thursday, placing second in 9.83.
“I have been working for that. Now it all comes together,” Blake said. “My performance proves it.”
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