Bolt's the man to beat over 200m


June 27, 2016
@Normal:Julian Forte c

The local public will get a chance to see defending double-sprint Olympic champion Usain Bolt make his 200 metres debut when the men line up for the 200m inside the National Stadium at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association/ Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships this week.

Not many pundits would place their bets on an athlete who is making his first appearance of the season so late in a highly competitive race to come out on top, but when the name is Usain Bolt, one has no choice.

The man who has ruled the world in both sprints will start as the overwhelming favourite.

Not competing in the half- lap race since last year's World Championships will not be a concern for Bolt, as he showed a few weeks ago that he is in one of the best shapes of his life after an effortless 9.88 seconds in winning the 100m at the Racers Grand Prix.

With Bolt expected to win, and easily, it should be very interesting to see who occupies the next two automatic spots for the Olympics.

Defending champion Nickel Ashmeade, the country's fastest man this season after posting 20.07 seconds in Florida in April, should be behind Bolt.

Despite being winner in 2013 and runner-up in 2014 and 2015, Warren Weir is not expected to figure in the top three. He was a shadow of himself at the Racers meet where he finished third in a season's best 20.32 seconds and will have to show great improvement if he hopes to be in the top three.

The talented Julian Forte, whose career has been slowed by persistent injury, looks set for a big performance. In his only 200m this season, he finished second at the Racers meet in 20.18 seconds to easily defeat Weir and should do so once again.

Rasheed Dwyer, who is yet to reproduce his good form of the past two years, will have to show big improvement on his season best of 20.47 seconds if he hopes to finish among the top three.

- R.G

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