Even with a headwind of 2.8 metres per second, Bolt said he was baffled by a performance that included “the worst curve ever in my entire career,” although he said it was too soon to say the alarm bells are sounding for the World Championships in Beijing in August.
“Because I have been training so good, but then I come to competition and I am not executing right, that’s all I am worried about,” Bolt said.
“I’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and figure it out.”
Bolt said he realized early the race would not be fast, but the ‘why’, remained a puzzle.
“It’s not physical and my mental game is strong. And when I am feeling good I am always confident I will do well, so I got out of the blocks and I just did not go anywhere,” he concluded.
It was Bolt’s first race in New York since 2008, when he broke the 100m world record for the first time on the same Icahn Stadium track on Randall's Island.
Last Saturday, however, he found himself leaning for the win, sneaking a look to make sure he got the victory ahead of training partner Zharnel Hughes of Anguilla, who was second in 20.32 with Jamaican Julian Forte third in 20.46.
Bolt holds the 100m world record of 9.58sec and the 200m world record of 19.19, both set in 2009.
He won 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics but last year was limited by foot and hamstring injuries.
While US sprint rival Justin Gatlin has been burning up the track — posting world leaders of 9.74 in the 100m and 19.68 in the 200m — Bolt said this week he’s focused on making steady progress toward achieving his peak form at Beijing.
However, he clearly was expecting better and said he might run this month’s Jamaican World Championship trials despite his byes into Beijing to sharpen up.
In other races, Tyson Gay, won the men’s 100m in 10.12sec in a brisk headwind of 1.7 metres per second.
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