KINGSTON (Reuters) - Mystery and confusion surrounded Usain Bolt after he declined to race in the 100 meters at Jamaica’s national trials on Thursday, raising concerns about his fitness ahead of the world championships.
Bolt was entered in the race in the preliminary list published by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) on Sunday but his name was missing from the list of runners released three days later.
“He was entered and has since been withdrawn,” JAAA general secretary Garth Gayle told Reuters.
Bolt needs to sharpen his form for the world championships in Beijing in August when he is automatically entered to defend the 100 and 200 titles he won in 2013.
”Usain was never confirmed to run at the trials,“ said his agent Ricky Simms. ”He put his name in to have the option.
“I already told the media that coach (Glen) Mills would make a decision on Wednesday if he needed the race or if he preferred him to train ahead of Paris and Lausanne (next month).”
The 100 meters got underway at 1000 local time (1500 GMT) on Thursday with a qualifying round. The quarter-finals are scheduled for 1855.
Bolt, 28, appeared to be in good shape when training on Wednesday, sources said.
The 100 and 200 world record holder has struggled for form this year with modest best times of 10.12 seconds for the 100 in Brazil and 20.13 for the 200 in Ostrava.
The 10-times world championship medalist expressed concerns after clocking a pedestrian 20.29 to win the 200 at the recent New York Diamond League meeting where he said he ran his “worst turn ever.”
Bolt is scheduled to run Diamond League races in Paris on July 4, an event he pulled out of last year with a foot injury, and Lausanne five days later.
Writing by Tony Jimenez, editing by Frank Pingue