- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 27, 2008

From combined dispatches

LONDON | Usain Bolt pulled away from the pack and never looked back Saturday at the London Grand Prix, winning the 200 meters in 19.76 seconds.

The 100 world record holder from Jamaica got a fast start at Crystal Palace and led for about the final 100 meters, winning by a half-second despite easing up at the end.

“I came out here with a plan and I did execute that well,” Bolt said. “My coach, no doubt, will tell me what I did wrong. I just came here to work on my 200 and I did just that today.”

Wallace Spearmon of the United States was second in 20.27 and Paul Hession of Ireland was third in 20.37.

Bolt is one of the favorites for both the 100 and 200 at the Beijing Olympics, even though he has not yet decided to run in both races next month.

“I’m still not sure about Beijing. I’m still waiting to see what’s going on,” Bolt said. “I’d definitely like to double. I think I could do well in both.”

Bolt set the 100 world record of 9.72 seconds in May, breaking the 9.74 mark of Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell.

“I’m just looking for consistency and to do what my coach says,” Bolt said. “I’m managing to do that right now.”

Divers search for unity

PASADENA, Calif. | Laura Wilkinson is headed to Beijing without her diving partner after they lost out to a pair of 15-year-olds for the synchronized platform spot.

Wilkinson and Jessica Livingston were so convinced they deserved to be on the team after not being picked at a post-trials selection camp that they took their case to arbitration. The duo lost, leaving 10-meter platform as Wilkinson’s only event in Beijing.

“I’m very sad,” she said. “I would have loved to have Jessica on the team.”

Livingston skipped this week’s U.S. national championships in Pasadena to take the rest of the summer off.

Now, Wilkinson finds herself in close quarters with Haley Ishimatsu and Mary Beth Dunnichay, the two teenagers who were chosen by USA Diving to compete on synchro platform.

“We haven’t gotten to talk too much since we’ve been here, but we told each other congratulations, and I’m sure we’ll work it out,” Wilkinson said. “We were friends before and I’m sure we’ll be friends through it.”

No decision on M. Hamm

LAUSANNE, Switzerland | The International Gymnastics Federation made no decision on the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s punishment concerning gymnast Morgan Hamm.

USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny said he expected an announcement Monday.

USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee had already said that the warning would not affect Hamm’s spot on the team for the Beijing Games.

USADA announced July 3 that Hamm had been warned for a May 24 positive test for glucocorticosteroid, a cortisone-like anti-inflammatory. The drug is allowed if an athlete gets a therapeutic use exemption, but Hamm had failed to do that.



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