Triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt will warm up for a European campaign focused on the August World Championships by contesting the 100m at the inaugural Festival of Excellence athletics meeting on Thursday.
Among those challenging Bolt will be Americans Bernard Williams, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist in the 4x100m relay, and Shawn Crawford, the 2004 Olympic 200m champion.
World record-holder Bolt will race his first 100m since injuring his foot in the wake of a road accident in April.
Bolt, 22, crashed his car in a ditch and required stitches after having a procedure to remove thorns that stuck in his left foot as he exited the vehicle.
Bolt, who had clocked a wind-aided 9.93 in his first 100m of the season at Spanish Town in March, withdrew from a meeting in Kingston on May 2.
But the triple world record-holder (100m, 200m and 4x100m relay) showed the car crash hadn't slowed him significantly when he posted the fastest 150m ever run in a street race in Manchester, England, on May 17.
However, the chances that the Jamaican will break his 100m world record of 9.69sec on the brand new track at the University of Toronto's Varsity Centre are slim, according to his agent Ricky Simms.
"His winter wasn't as good this year as the previous winter. If he runs the (full-out) 100, it depends on the weather and the surface," Simms told the Toronto Globe and Mail. "He doesn't go chasing after world records. But you can never count him out."
The race is the marquee event at the Festival of Excellence, which will also include a men's 400m featuring Olympic champion LaShawn Merrit of the United States.
(AFP via China Daily June 11, 2009)