Usain Bolt outmuscled compatriot Asafa Powell to win the 100m at a Diamond League meet in Oslo.
This time Bolt was given a run for his appearance money as Powell flew from his blocks to open up a substantial lead over the triple Olympic champion and, for a brief moment, offering the tantalising possibility that Bolt’s 10-1 advantage in head-to-head meetings between the two men might be narrowed.
Bolt seemed to sense the same thing for his face contorted into a grimace midway through the race as he dug deep to claw back Powell’s advantage before gliding past him in the final 20 metres.
His winning time of 9.79sec (a meet record) was his third fastest of the season, and he now owns the top three times in the world this year, though that may change when his training partner, Yohan Blake, competes in New York on Saturday.
But Powell, who improved his season’s best by 0.03sec to 9.85sec, can also take credit from a performance that dispelled any notion that Bolt need only turn up in London to claim the 100m gold.