ROME (Sporting Alert) — A Fully charged Usain Bolt will look to shake off the slow performance in his last outing when he takes on a strong field at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome on Thursday.
Bolt, the fastest in the world this season with a time of 9.82 seconds, could only posted a time of 10.04 when he won in Ostrava last Friday.
But although many are running scared that the World Record is starting to lose his edge, Bolt says he’s not worried about the last outing.
“For me it’s not a worry. It is not possible to run very fast every time,” Bolt said at his press conference on Wednesday.
“In Ostrava I had a bad day but I want to put that race behind me. This race will not affect my race on Thursday.”
Bolt, despite staying positive heading into the next race, at the same time is not happy with the time he ran in Ostrava.
“You are never happy to run 10 seconds but you cannot stress too much on that,” the Jamaican sprint sensation, said. “I am confident in myself as my coach knows exactly what to do.
“I would never worry even if I lost all the races before the Olympic Games. I enjoy my job and I don’t try to change my routine just because it’s the Olympic year.”
The double Olympic champion is expected to be tested mainly by his fellow countryman and former world record holder Asafa Powell, who has a seasonal best of 9.88secs.
There are six Jamaicans in total in the race, including Commonwealth Games champion Lerone Clarke and the improving Jacques Harvey.
French record holder Christophe Lemaitre and St. Kitts and Nevis veteran Kim Collins are also included.
The line-up on the women’s side includes Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and silver medallists Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart of Jamaica.
Ivet Lalova of Bulgaria and U.S. Virgin Islands’ LaVerne Jones-Ferrette will face the starter’s gun.
A well loaded men’s 400m hurdles field is also expected to draw some attention, especially with arch rivals David Greene of Great Britain and USA’s Bershawn Jackson both going head-to-head.
The pair have been firing words of war back and forth and track and field fans will be delighted to see them finally battling things of on the track.
They will be hard to beat world leader Javier Culson of Puerto Rico, the world silver medallist in Daegu, last year.
Felix Sánchez of Dominican Republic, South Africans L.J. van Zyl and Cornel Fredericks and Trinidad and Tobago’s Jehue Gordon will also line-up.
Melaine Walker, the Olympic champion from Jamaica take aim at her seasonal best of 54.62secs in the women’s race, but should have the company of training partner and compatriot Kaliese Spencer, American world champion Lashinda Demus and Muizat Ajoke Odumosu of Nigeria.
Brigitte Foster-Hylton of Jamaica leads a strong group in the women’s sprint hurdles – a field that also includes the speedy Tiffany Porter, Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and hosts of Americans, such as LoLo Jones, Kellie Wells and Dawn Harper.
A confident and on form Pamela Jelimo will tackle South African Caster Semenya, Ethiopian young sensation Fantu Magiso, as well as Kenyan Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei, who recently clocked 1:57.79 in Hengelo, a time which is the second fastest in the world this season.
Others to look for at the meet are Jesse Williams, Mariya Savinova, Vivian Cheruiyot, Olha Saladuha, Valerie Adams, Pawel Wojciechowski Ezekiel Kemboi, Maria Abakumova and Paul Koech.