LAUSANNE, Switzerland (CMC) ? Jamaican Usain Bolt braved rain and frigid temperatures to clock the fourth fastest 200-metre race ever at the Lausanne Super Grand Prix on Tuesday.
Amidst a heavy downpour and temperatures that dipped to as low as 14 degrees Celsius, Bolt reached deep to produce a stunning time of 19.59 seconds to win the event.
The time shattered the meet record held by American Xavier Carter at 19.63 seconds and was just 0.01 seconds outside Tyson Gay?s season?s best 19.58 at the Reebok Grand Prix in May this year.
It was also Bolt?s second fastest time in the event behind his sensational World record of 19.32 set at the Beijing Olympics last year.
?I was not expecting such a good time with these conditions. But for me it was ok, as it was not too cold,? said Bolt, who accelerated off the bend to dismiss his field.
?I was not here to send a message to my opponents but to see at what level I was. I wasn?t nervous, even with this weather. I am always having fun when I run and people love to see me, so it was really great.?
American Lashawn Merritt, the reigning Olympic 400m champion, took second spot in 20.41 seconds with the Netherland Antilles? Churandy Martina third in 20.76 seconds. Antigua & Barbuda?s Brendon Christian clocked 20.85 seconds to take the fifth place.
Bolt?s Jamaican counterpart Asafa Powell took the 100 metres in a less impressive time of 10.07 seconds, beating fellow countryman Steve Mullings (10.28), with American Michael Rogers finishing third in 10.30 seconds.
Jamaican Michael Frater trailed them home in 10.31 seconds with Trinidadian Marc Burns clocking 10.38 in finishing seventh.
?I hate running in the rain but I am very happy with my performance,? Powell said.
?These were the worst weather conditions in my whole life but I ran my best race this year, technically speaking. I am definitely going for the World record.?
Olympic 100 metres champion Shelly-Ann Fraser and fellow Jamaican Kerron Stewart swept the women?s sprints in impressive fashion.
Running her first European race of the summer, Fraser clocked 11.03 seconds to beat American Carmelita Jeter (11.06) into second while Bahamian Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie was third in 11.12 seconds.
Stewart, a double sprint medalist in Beijing last year, clocked 22.73 to defeat compatriot Shericka Williams who was timed at 22.99 seconds.
Jamaican Isa Phillips upset the field in the 400 metres hurdles, coming home in a time of 48.18 seconds to beat American Kerron Clement into second.