PARIS (AP) — Forget for a moment the laid-back, fun-loving Usain Bolt. Even when he’s winning, the six-time Olympic champion is finding fault with his running these days.
The Jamaican sprinter gave himself a grade of 7 out of 10 after running the fastest 200 meters of the season Saturday with a time of 19.73 seconds at the Areva Diamond League meet in Paris.
Bolt shaved 0.01 second off the previous best time this year set by American sprinter Tyson Gay at the U.S. trials last month.
“I think I could have run the last 50 after the turn much better,” Bolt said. “I didn’t come in the straight as powerful as I used to. The last 30 meters, I was kind of, I won’t say struggling, but my technique wasn’t perfect.”
Fellow Jamaican Warren Weir was second in 19.92, ahead of former European champion Christophe Lemaitre in 20.07.
“The time, I think I could have done better,” Bolt said. “I wanted to do better but it’s just one of those things you never get but you wish for sometimes.”
Bolt broke the meet record of 20.01 seconds set by Michael Johnson in 1990. But he said he still has plenty to work ahead of the world championships in August.
Bolt, who turns 27 in August, laughed off suggestions that he was past his prime after losing to American sprinter Justin Gatlin in the 100 of the Golden Gala meet last month in Rome.
“I lost one 100 meters, a lot of people are making a big deal of it,” he said. “It doesn’t really bother me. All I have to do is just train. The same people in that lane beside me, if he’s one of them, then I’ll get it right that I’m a championship person. I’m not worried.”
Bolt will next compete in the 100 and 4×100 relay in London on July 26-27 in a first anniversary event for the 2012 Olympics. That will be his final major meeting before the worlds, which start Aug. 10.
Meanwhile, Bolt is out to dominate his rivals on the track at least until the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“‘I want to continue dominating until the next Olympics. I have to work hard, train hard and stay focused,” he told a news conference.
“I’ve won everything already but now it’s to show that I can be a dominant sprinter. You want to dominate for the rest of your career.”
In some ways, losing to Gatlin may even have helped Bolt get back into stride.
“I figured out what I needed to do to get back on target,” he said. “I’ve been working hard, I’ve been focused, I’ve been sacrificing a lot, so now I’m on target.”