In fact, it would appear that Bolt’s only real competition will come against the clock. However, having stated that records will not be that important for him this year, it remains to be seen how hard the sprinter will run.
Despite not being fully fit this season it would take a brave man to bet against the world record holder in the event as it is very special to him and he should easily make it back-to-back victories, following up on his first title in Berlin two years ago.
The lateness of his preparation due to his back injury has left Bolt short on fitness, but he is still the world leader after posting 19.86 seconds at the Oslo Bislett Diamond League meet. The time makes Bolt the only athlete this season to have gone under sub-19.9 seconds. Despite the fact that since then, he has clocked identical times of 20.03 seconds at the Paris St Denis and the DN Gala meets, where he won easily, it should be of little concern as the athlete seems capable of turning things up whenever he wants.
With his main contender Tyson Gay out of the Championships, the United States hopes lie with Walter Dix, who will be determined to be competitive. Dix, however, will have to significantly improve his season best of 20.02 seconds if he is to stay in striking distance of Bolt. Dix’s best placing so far at a global meet is a third-place finish at the Beijing Olympic Games.
While Bolt and Dix look set to capture the gold and silver, it should be a keen tussle for the bronze medal.
With Jamaica’s Steve Mullings, who was a favourite for a medal, now out of the Championships, the likes of his countryman Nickel Ashmeade and Panama’s Alonzo Edwards will be hoping to be among the medals.
A repeat of his blistering run in Jamaica, at the Jamaica Invitational International meet, where he surprised a strong field in clocking a then world-leading time of 19.95 seconds could see Ashmeade among the medals. In fact, the young Jamaican’s time is the second fastest going into the Championships and he will be hoping for another big run having built the reputation over the years, as a junior, as a Championships performer. Edwards has been consistent all season and will be hoping to give his country a medal.