Bolt started the season competing over 400 meters in order to improve his speed, winning two races and registering 45.54 s in Kingston, and windy conditions gave him his first sub-10 second finish of the season in the 100 m in March.
In late April Bolt suffered minor leg injuries in a car crash. However, he quickly recovered following minor surgery and (after cancelling a track meet in Jamaica) he stated that he was fit to compete in the 150 meters street race at the Manchester Great City Games. Bolt won the race in 14.35 s, the fastest time ever recorded for 150 m.
Despite not being at full fitness, he took the 100 and 200 m titles at the Jamaican national championships, with runs of 9.86 s and 20.25 s respectively. This meant he had qualified for both events at the 2009 World Championships. Rival Tyson Gay suggested that Bolt’s 100 m record was within his grasp, but Bolt dismissed the claim and instead noted that he was more interested in Asafa Powell’s return from injury.
Bolt defied unfavorable conditions at the Athletissima meet in July, running 19.59 seconds into a 0.9 m/s headwind and rain, to record the fourth fastest time ever over 200 m, one hundredth off Gay’s best time.
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