Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 27th 2015 Contents A50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, May 27, 2015
OSTRAVA---Usain Bolt cruised
to victory in the 200 metres race
at the Golden Spike meet yester-
day, as the Jamaican star prepares
for the world championships after
a season marred by injuries.
Facing rain and cold at the IAAF
World Challenge event, Bolt had
the slowest reaction of all the
sprinters, his traditional problem.
"It was one of my slowest reac-
tions in a long time," Bolt said.
"For me it was not a perfect day.
It wasn t a perfect curve."
Still, the six-time Olympic
champion came out of the bend
slightly ahead and breezed unchal-
lenged to victory, crossing the line
in 20.13. Isiah Young of the United
States finished second in 20.35 and
Lykourgos Stefanos Tsakonas of
Greece was third in 20.62.
"The shape that I m in, and I m
coming back, I don t really know
what to say is a decent time, or
not," Bolt said. "I think I just need
races, need to run a lot."
Bolt improved on his previous
season s best of 20.20, clocked in
April in Jamaica, though both are
still far from his world record of
19.19 set in 2009. Yesterday, it was
more about dipping below 20 sec-
"You can t be satisfied if I don t
break 20.0, I really wanted to," Bolt
"The conditions didn t allow.
And I m coming back from injuries,
so it s going to take time."
He said he was not worried by
not running fast times just yet.
Yesterday was his first race in
Europe this season as he prepares
for the worlds in August in Bei-
"I don t really try to stress too
much over time," Bolt said. "I just
want to get everything together
and start feeling better."
He will have more chances to
improve his times in the Diamond
League meets in New York in June,
and in Paris and Lausanne,
Switzerland, the following month.
"The more I run the better I
feel, the faster I can go," Bolt added.
"Hopefully, in New York (there)
are better conditions and I ll be
able to push myself."
His countryman Asafa Powell
won the 100 in 10.04, ahead of
Young in 10.13 and while Britain s
Richard Kilty clocked 10.31 in third.
Olympic champion Christian
Taylor of the United States leaped
17.52 to win the men s triple jump
for a meet record.
World high jump champion
Bogdan Bondarenko cleared 2.24
to take his event.
In a rarely contested distance,
Olympic 800-metre champion
David Rudisha of Kenya didn t fin-
ish the 600 race due to what
appeared to be a right leg injury.
Poland s Adam Kszczot clocked
1:16.02 to win.
In the women s events, ChaRon-
da Williams of the United States
won the 200 comfortably in 23.11.
Jamaica s Kerron Stewart finished
second in 23.43 and Britain s Bian-
ca Williams was third in 23.50.
Sharika Nelvis of the United
States took the 100 hurdles in 12.55,
ahead of Alina Talay of Belarus in
12.78 and Tiffany Porter of Britain
World champion Zuzana Hejno-
va won the 400 metres hurdles,
clocking 55.13 ahead of another
Czech runner, Denisa Rosolova and
South African Wenda Nel.
In the javelin, Marharyta
Dorozhon of Israel upset all the
favourites, including Olympic
champion Barbora Spotakova of
the Czech Republic and world
champion Mariya Abakumova of
Russia, setting a new Israeli record
with a throw of 63.85. (AP)
PARIS---Ah, the French Open,
the time of year when a certain
question is asked repeatedly by
American tennis fans: Why can t
the country s players, particularly
the men, find success on red clay?
Now comes along Jack Sock, a
22-year-old born in Nebraska and
currently residing in Florida, who
unabashedly calls the slow stuff
"my favourite surface."
Yes, that s right, even though
there are not many red clay courts
in the United States---Sock first
encountered them in Europe---and
even though, at first glance, they re
considered less-than-ideal for
players who thrive on speedy
serves and forehands. Sock and
another US man, 16th-seeded John
Isner, both fit that description.
Both won first-round matches at
Roland Garros yesterday.
"This just suits my game very
well," Sock said. "I m able to take
my time and kind of maneuver the
ball around. Movement is another
big part of my game. I feel like on
the clay, I get to a lot of balls."
He did just that yesterday on
bullring-shaped Court 1 during a
7--6, (7), 6--2, 6--3 victory over
Bulgaria s Grigor Dimitrov, who
was a Wimbledon semifinalist last
year and was seeded tenth in Paris,
making him the top man to lose
Dimitrov s take?
"Jack played his game," he said.
Cleanly, too. Sock hit 30 winners
and made only 18 unforced errors
(ten fewer than Dimitrov) and
saved all six break points he faced.
Pounding serves at up to 136 mph
(220 kph), leaping into his big fore-
hands, and effectively pressing for-
ward to win the point on 19 of 25
trips to the net.
Not traditional clay-court tennis,
necessarily. But it worked.
"I may have been one of the
first to really like it," said Sock,
who won his first ATP singles title
last month in Houston on green
clay. "For me personally, I look
forward to this time of year."
The 6-foot-10 Isner, who beat
Italy s Andreas Seppi 7--5, 6--2,
6--3, is also learning to like the
"A lot is said about clay and how
it s a defensive surface. It s sort of,
I would say, a misconception,"
Isner said. "I think clay is a very
good attacking surface. A guy like
(Rafael Nadal), yeah, he plays great
defence, but knocks the cover off
Four of the seven US men in
this year s field already are gone,
as are 13 of the 17 women from
the country. Andre Agassi was the
last American man to even get to
the quarterfinals at the French
Open, and that was all the way
back in 2003.
Sock, who won the 2014 Wim-
bledon doubles title, had surgery
to repair a torn hip muscle in
December, so his 2015 season
began late. He also dealt with a
more worrisome matter this year:
His older brother had a serious
"He s doing much better now.
He s got full, I guess, health back,"
Sock said. "It s been a lot outside
of tennis for me, a lot of stuff going
on. It s motivated me in a lot of
ways to see a family member---and
especially my brother; I m very
close with him---go through what
he did. And I was in the hospital
every day with him after I had sur-
Bolt cruises at Golden Spike meet
gery, so just back-to-back things that
were very unfortunate."
His win over Dimitrov represented
the day s only departure by a seeded
man. Two seeded women were beaten:
No 6 Eugenie Bouchard, a semifinalist
at the French Open and runner-up at
Wimbledon last year but a loser of eight
of her past nine matches; and No 25
Jelena Jankovic, the runner-up at the
2008 US Open.
Things went as expected for the very
best of the best: Nadal, Novak Djokovic
and Serena Williams---owners of 41
Grand Slam singles titles among them---
all delivered straight-set wins on Court
There were some blips, however brief.
Nine-time champion Nadal lamented
that he started slowly. Djokovic was
two points from losing the second set
before reeling off 22 of 29 points. And
Williams? She got fooled by the awk-
ward spin of one shot and got plunked
by the ball, leading to laughter.
"I m allegedly a professional tennis
player. And I was thinking, I m going
to hit a backhand. I will hit a forehand.
And, I will run around and hit a back-
hand. No, no, no, run around and hit
a forehand. Next thing I know, it hit
me in the back," Williams said. "So I
was, like, embarrassed. At the same
time, I thought it was really funny. It
happens to the best of us. Maybe not.
But to me." (AP)
American Sock ousts Dimitrov
Men's seeded winners: No 1
Novak Djokovic, No 6 Rafael Nadal,
No 7 David Ferrer, No 9 Marin Cilic,
No 15 Kevin Anderson, No 16 John
Isner, No 20 Richard Gasquet, No
23 Leonardo Mayer.
Men's seeded losers: No 10 Grigor
Women's seeded winners: No 1
Serena Williams, No 4 Petra
Kvitova, No 5 Caroline Wozniacki,
No 10 Andrea Petkovic, No 16
Madison Keys, No 18 Svetlana
Kuznetsova, No 23 Timea
Bacsinszky, No 32 Zarina Diyas.
Women's seeded losers: No 6
Eugenie Bouchard, No 25 Jelena
Stat of the Day: 8 The number of
Bouchard's losses in her past nine
Today's forecast: Mainly sunny.
High of 72 degrees (22 Celsius).
AT A GLANCE
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