Bolt clocks 19.76secs in Shanghai 200 m


- dEsPeraTe cRaNky -

World and Olympic triple gold medallist Usain Bolt launched his 200m season Sunday with a comfortable win in 19.76 seconds in the Shanghai IAAF Diamond League meet.

Bolt, who owns the world record of 19.19, was the only man to break the 20-second barrier, with American Angelo Taylor second in 20.34 followed by American Ryan Bailey in 20.43.

It was Bolt's first race in China since his triple-gold Olympic performance at the 2008 Beijing Games and he was roared on by the crowd as he jogged around the stadium on a victory lap.

Bolt ran 9.86 seconds -- the fastest time of the year so far -- to win his season-opening 100m at South Korea's Daegu Pre-Championships Meeting last week.

The 100m and 200m world record holder is being pursued by American Tyson Gay and fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell, who have both made it clear they aim to beat him this year -- and Bolt himself has said it could be the season to do it.

But with Gay and Powell staying away from Shanghai, Bolt dominated the 200m race, part of what he is calling an "off season" in which he intends to get as much rest as possible ahead of next year's world championships.

Bolt's 200m race in Shanghai helps set the stage for three upcoming Diamond League showdowns with Gay, who fired a new warning in Bolt's direction by shattering the 44-year-old straight line 200m world record on May 18.