Usain Bolt wins exhibition race in Rio, which will host the 2016 Olympic Games
Jamaican says he is happy with his opening sprint race of the new season
He beats fellow Caribbean runner Daniel Bailey over the rarely-run distance
Sprint star Usain Bolt gave sports fans a taste of what to expect at the 2016 Rio Olympics when he won an exhibition race on Copacabana beach on Sunday.
The six-time Olympic gold medalist was unable to break his record for the 150 meters distance, but still got his season off to a winning start in the Brazilian city.
He won in a time of 14.42 seconds on a specially constructed track in hot conditions in front of a reported 3,000 spectators.
“It was my first sprint race, definitely a good start for the season,” Bolt said in quotes reported by his website.
“I’m looking forward to coming down here in 2016.”
Bolt set the record for 150m in Manchester in 2009 when he clocked 14.35. This time the Jamaican headed off fellow West Indian Daniel Bailey of Antigua (14.88) and third-placed Brazilian Bruno Barrios (14.91).
The distance is rarely run by top-level athletes, though in 1997 the previous year’s Olympic 100m champion Donovan Bailey of Canada took on 200/400 gold medalist Michael Johnson in an unofficial clash to determine the “world’s fastest man” – but the American pulled up short with a leg injury.
Before Bolt set the record in 2009, the previous best over 150m was the 14.80 recorded by Italy’s Moscow Olympics 200m champion Pietro Mennea in 1983.