Bolt beats Powell for new Oslo meet record
Usain Bolt was pushed hard by rival Asafa Powell before powering through in the late stages to win the 100m in 9.79 seconds at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo.
Following a sluggish display in Ostrava, Bolt returned to form with an eye-catching run in Rome at the end of May, and he produced the goods again on Thursday to run down Powell and set a new meeting record.
Mark Lewis-Francis, looking to find some form before the British trials in Birmingham on June 22, committed a blatant false start and, under the current regulations, was forced to sit the race out.
At the resumption, Bolt got away well but it was fellow Jamaican Powell that surged clear in the early stages. Bolt, looking less smooth and fluent than he did in Italy, had to work hard to reel him in, doing so in the final few strides and making sure of his victory with a dip at the line. Powell was second with a season's best 9.85s.
"I really enjoyed it," Bolt said. "My execution was alright. I'm going home now to top things up. I'll look to go fast and look forward to the trials."
Having crossed the line at full steam, Bolt collided with a flower girl on the track, catching her as she fell before hugging her with a big smile on his face.
World 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene had a poor night, labouring to fourth place in 49.98s. Javier Culson, who tool silver behind Greene in Daegu last summer, fired a warning shot to his rivals by posting the fastest time in the world this year - 47.92s.
"It was disappointing. I'm not going to lie, I wanted a lot more. I didn't think I was going to run as fast as Culson did today but I just didn't feel quite as fresh as I did a few weeks ago," Greene said.
"I thought I could have gone about four tenths faster. That was the target in my head. I ran very aggressively from the start but it was a struggle from hurdle seven onwards. Hopefully, things will get a bit easier in the future."
Jessica Ennis ran her third quickest time ever of 12.83s in the semi-finals of the 100m hurdles but was then disqualified from the final for a false start. Sally Pearson won in a world-leading time of 12.49s, while Britain's Tiffany Porter ran well to take third in 12.70s.
Abi Oyepitan recorded her best 100m time in eight years to finish second in her race in 22.71s - well within the Olympic 'A' qualifying standard. And Gareth Warburton made the 'A' standard too by winning his 800m race in 1minute 44.98 seconds.
Defending Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele, who is expected to go toe-to-toe with Brtain's Mo Farah at London 2012, trailed home in fifth place in the 5000m.