Usain Bolt was upstaged by training partner Yohan Blake at the Athletissima Diamond League meeting in Lausanne last night.
The young pretender became the joint second-fastest man in history as he won the 100 metres in 9.69 seconds shortly before Bolt clocked 19.58secs over 200m.
Only Bolt, a self-proclaimed ’living legend’ after retaining his Olympic titles in London, has run quicker than Blake’s new personal best.
Blake, the Olympic silver medallist over 100m and 200m, took 0.06s off his previous best as, running into a very slight headwind, he comprehensively beat a strong field.
The 22-year-old was out of the blocks quickly and pulled away to set a new meeting record.
American Tyson Gay was second in 9.83s, with another Jamaican Nesta Carter third in 9.95s.
Bolt and Gay have also run 9.69s, but only the former with times of 9.58 and 9.63 has gone quicker.
“I could tell Yohan would run fast, I’ve seen him in training,” Bolt said on BBC3.
“I predicted 9.72, but he went a little bit faster.”
Blake, dubbed ’The Beast’ because of his prodigious work ethic, revealed he was not even running 100% fit.
“I have been sick all week, thank God I recovered,” he said.
“I have more races and I’m going to get better and better.”
Bolt claimed he was “having some fun” after easily winning the 200m, also in a meeting record, ahead of Holland’s Churandy Martina, who ran a national record 19.85, and Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade (19.94).
Only three other men have ever gone faster than the 26-year-old’s 19.58 – Blake and Americans Michael Johnson and Walter Dix – but Bolt himself has done so on six occasions.
He said: “It’s a good run, it’s the end of season so I’m having some fun.”
There had been a sense of disappointment that Bolt and Blake were not going head to head at the Swiss meeting, but Blake claimed he would be happy to take on the world’s fastest man any time.
“I would run with Usain any day, he’s my training partner,” he said. “I would love to run with him, but they have to put up big money.”
The most exciting competition of the night came in the high jump as Robbie Grabarz equalled the British record of 2.37m to finish third on countback.
A clearance of 2.29m was enough to earn Grabarz a share of bronze at the Olympics, but tonight’s competition was on another level as Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim, who was also third in London, won with a world-leading 2.39m.
Russia’s Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov was second, also clearing 2.37m.
Grabarz’s clearance equalled Steve Smith’s 20-year-old British record.
There were also impressive performances from Lawrence Okoye, who threw 65.27m to finish second in the discus, and Steve Lewis, third in the pole vault on countback with the top four all clearing 5.80m.
Perri Shakes-Drayton was third in the 400m hurdles in 53.83s and Shara Proctor fourth in the long jump in 6.68m.
Yamile Aldama, who has struggled with a shoulder injury this summer, retired from the triple jump before her fourth attempt after two fouls and a pass.
Martyn Rooney and Conrad Williams were sixth and eighth respectively in a 400m race won by Olympic champion Kirani James in 44.37s.
American Carmelita Jeter pipped Jamaica’s double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to win the 100m in 10.86s.
Olympic 110m hurdles champion Aries Merritt was disqualified for a false start, fellow American Jason Richardson winning in 13.08s.