By Gary Smith, World-Track
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Olympic champion Usain Bolt says there will be joking around once the gun goes off for his 200m race at the Athletissima meeting here in Lausanne Tuesday evening.
The Jamaican world record holder has not raced very much this season and went all-out only once in a wind-aided 9.77seconds 100m race in Ostrava, last month.
However, after cruising to the sprint double at the Jamaica Championships last month where he clocked a 100m world-leading 9.86seconds, Bolt revealed he will max out in the half-lap in Lausanne to see the status of his preparing for next month’s IAAF World Championships in Berlin.
"I definitely will be running to the line this year because it’s my first serious race of the season," Bolt said during a press conference for the meeting on Monday.
"Last year I eased up in the final metres. This year I want to run strongly until the end because my goal is to see where my shape is. I need to know where I’m at and what I need to do.
"I asked my coach to include the 200 metres in Lausanne in my racing programme because Lausanne is very special. The track has the best curve because it is very large."
A busy post Olympic Games schedule left Bolt some what short of the ideal preparation he would have loved for the world championships.
With that in mind, the 22-year-old admits he is not in the same shape as what brought him success in Beijing last year, but made a note that he is working on getting back to that form.
In Lausanne, Bolt will face former Olympic champion Shawn Crawford of USA and his American countryman LaShawn Merritt.
"Every World Championships season is important. My goal is to do my best in Berlin," he said. "I am not in the same form as last year in this period of the year but I am working to reach my best shape for the World Championships.
"My aim is to reach results as in Beijing but my priority is to win races than (set) World records."
In the meantime, Bolt’s fellow countryman Asafa Powell will also be hoping to run a fast time over the 100m to also see what his preparation for the worlds looks like.
Powell, who anchored Jamaica to the gold medal and world record at the Olympic Games in Beijing last season, looked solid when finishing second to Bolt in the 100m with 9.97secs at Jamaica trials.
The former world record holder is currently recovering from an ankle injury he sustained in April.
He won the 100m at the IAAF Golden League meeting in Oslo last Friday in 10.07sec.
Also down to compete are Jamaican hurdlers Melaine Walker and Isa Phillips.
Walker, the Olympic champion will start as the one to beat in the women’s 400m hurdles with the in form Phillips and American reigning World champion Kerron Clement set to battle for the men’s crown.
Elsewhere, Cuba’s Olympic champion and world 110m hurdles record holder Dayron Robles targets a quick performance in his specialty, while American Long Jump Dwight Phillips seeks more glory in an event he is ranked No.1 for the 2009 season with a 8.74m effort.