Skip to content

Diamond League preview: Usain Bolt set for 200 in Paris

Jul 5, 2013, 6:54 AM EDT

Usain Bolt Getty Images

Usain Bolt is in an unfamiliar position going into Saturday’s Diamond League meet in Paris. He’s chasing another sprinter.

Bolt, the six-time Olympic gold medalist, is looking up at Tyson Gay in both the 100 and 200 meters on the IAAF world leaders lists this season. Gay owns the year’s fastest times in the 100 (9.75) and the 200 (19.74) with a little more than a month until the world championships in Moscow.

Bolt will run his second 200 of the season Saturday (3:50 p.m. ET) at Stade de France. His first, a 19.79 in Oslo on June 13, marked the fastest time in the world in 2013 until Gay ran his 19.74 at U.S. nationals June 23.

Watch on Universal Sports (Saturday, 2 p.m. ET) | Full Start Lists/Times

“With the world championships approaching, I need some top-class races, to find out where I’m at so as I can place myself in relation to the others and, most importantly, in relation to myself,” Bolt told reporters in Paris.

He’ll get decent competition in Paris, even though Gay and the injured Yohan Blake are not in the field.

Bolt will face the top two finishers from Jamaican worlds trials — where Bolt received a bye — in 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Warren Weir and Nickel Ashmeade.

The biggest cheers — outside of Bolt — will go to Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre, the 2011 world bronze medalist in the 200.

But the real comparison will be to Gay’s previous times. If Bolt beats Gay’s 19.74, he’ll silence some of the early doubts about his dominance this year. If he doesn’t, and if he runs slower than the Oslo 19.79, those whispers will grow a tad louder.

The women’s high jump (2:08) features the world’s top three performers this season in American 2012 Olympic silver medalist Brigetta Barrett, 2012 Olympic champion Anna Chicherova and two-time world champion Blanka Vlasic.

The men’s 400 (2:17) brings a budding rivalry between the last two Olympic champions, LaShawn Merritt and Kirani James, who combine to own the eight fastest times this season. They’re 1-1 against each other in 2013.

The women’s 100 (2:56) includes two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, world leader Kelly-Ann Baptiste and U.S. and NCAA champion English Gardner. Another notable is versatile Nigerian Blessing Okagbare, who won a 200 in Birmingham, England, on Sunday, then won the long jump in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.

The 110 hurdles (3:30) is loaded with the last two Olympic champions (Aries Merritt and Dayron Robles), last two world champions (Jason Richardson and Ryan Brathwaite), the world leader (David Oliver) and the U.S. champion (Ryan Wilson).

Four American Olympians are in the finale, the men’s 1,500 (3:50), including 2012 silver medalist Leo Manzano, Matthew Centrowitz, who was fourth in London, two-time Olympic medalist Bernard Lagat and two-time Olympian Lopez Lomong.

Tyson Gay beats Asafa Powell; Lausanne Diamond League recap

Latest Posts
  1. Skylar Diggins, 2 others cut after Team USA’s first loss since 2011

    Sep 22, 2014, 1:41 PM EDT

    Skylar Diggins Getty Images

    U.S. women must cut one more player before FIBA World Championships.

  2. Carolina Kostner called in for doping hearing again Friday

    Sep 22, 2014, 12:23 PM EDT

    Carolina Kostner Getty Images

    Figure skater to be questioned over doping by her ex-boyfriend, Olympic champ race walker.

  3. Kosuke Hagino: I’m trying to become like Michael Phelps

    Sep 22, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT

    Michael Phelps, Kosuke Hagino Getty Images

    World’s greatest swimmer on display at Asian Games.

  4. Scary crash at World Road Cycling Championships (video)

    Sep 22, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT

    Anna Van der Breggen Getty Images

    Lead cyclist hits fence, trailing cyclist breaks pelvis.

  5. Poland wins World Volleyball Championship at home, pandemonium (photos, videos)

    Sep 22, 2014, 8:35 AM EDT

    World Volleyball Championship Poland Getty Images

    Upset of dynastic Brazil sets off bedlam inside arena, outside streets for host nation.

  6. Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross complete perfect AVP season after wardrobe malfunction

    Sep 22, 2014, 7:35 AM EDT

    April Ross, Kerri Walsh Jennings Getty Images

    Walsh Jennings, Ross played with interesting keys looped through chains Sunday.

  7. Oksana Chusovitina, 39, eyes all-around at World Gymnastics Championships

    Sep 22, 2014, 7:08 AM EDT

    Oksana Chusovitina Getty Images

    Uzbekistan gymnast has competed at World Championships since 1991.

  8. Australia swim star Grant Hackett returns to training, dismisses Rio

    Sep 21, 2014, 8:31 AM EDT

    Grant Hackett Getty Images

    “I would be 36 for Rio. That’s probably just getting on a bit too much.”

  9. Wallace Spearmon fails drug test, banned 3 months

    Sep 19, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT

    Wallace Spearmon Getty Images

    Spearmon lost a 2008 Olympic medal due to disqualification and finished fourth in the 2012 Olympic 200m.

  10. Viktoria Komova out of World Gymnastics Championships, report says

    Sep 19, 2014, 10:21 AM EDT

    Viktoria Komova Getty Images

    Komova won Olympic all-around silver behind Gabby Douglas.

  11. South Korea hockey teams given spots in 2018 Olympics

    Sep 19, 2014, 8:49 AM EDT

    South Korea hockey Getty Images

    There was concern Olympic host nation wouldn’t be able to qualify in hockey.

  12. Carolina Kostner skips hearing in ex-boyfriend’s doping case

    Sep 19, 2014, 8:02 AM EDT

    Carolina Kostner Getty Images

    Olympic medalist skater could be called in for later hearing.

  13. Jens Voigt bikes 31.7 miles in 1 hour, breaks record

    Sep 18, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT

    Jens Voigt Getty Images

    Three-time Olympian rides into retirement by entering history books.

  14. Rio Olympic Village more than 50 percent complete

    Sep 18, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT

    Rio Olympic Village

    Work expected to finish in the first half of 2016.

  15. Ato Boldon’s track and field season awards

    Sep 18, 2014, 1:39 PM EDT

    Justin Gatlin Getty Images

    NBC Olympics analyst hands out athlete of the year honors and more.

  16. Yelena Isinbayeva set to return to pole vault training, report says

    Sep 18, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Yelena Isinbayeva Getty Images

    Russian Olympic champion gave birth to daughter in June.

  17. Analyzing the U.S. gymnastics women’s World Championships team

    Sep 18, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Simone Biles, Kyla Ross Getty Images

    Can U.S. win second straight team title despite injuries, absences?

  18. Edmonton Oilers hire Olympic pairs champion as skating coach

    Sep 17, 2014, 3:38 PM EDT

    David Pelletier Getty Images

    Canadian from memorable 2002 Olympic pairs competition to coach NHL players.

Featured video

Yogging a hit at Youth Olympic Games