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Bolt cruises to victory as Merritt makes track return

Usain Bolt (center) proved a class apart as he eased to victory in the 200m at Stockholm.
Usain Bolt (center) proved a class apart as he eased to victory in the 200m at Stockholm.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Usain Bolt eases to victory in the 200m at the Stockholm Golden League meeting
  • Bolt was racing for the final time before defending his world 100m and 200m titles
  • World 400m champion LaShawn Merritt returned to the track for first time in 21 months

(CNN) -- World and Olympic champion Usain Bolt cruised to a comfortable victory in the men's 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm on Friday.

In his last race before defending his world 100m and 200m titles in Daegu, South Korea, next month, Bolt clocked an impressive time of 20.03 seconds into a strong headwind.

It was the Jamaican's first-ever victory in the Swedish capital after two previous defeats in the 100m.

The other big story saw Olympic 400m champion LaShawn Merritt return to the track for the first time since being banned for 21 months for doping violations.

Merritt clocked a time of 44.74 seconds to finish second to Jamaican Jermaine Gonzalez, who won in a season's best time of 44.69.

I am clean. My mother and my team believed in me and they will keep believing in me
--LaShawn Merritt
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The 25-year-old told reporters: "I wanted to come out and get a race, knock off the cobwebs. I feel good physically and I now want to get ready for the world championships.

"I am clean. My mother and my team believed in me and they will keep believing in me. Now I will go home and work on a few things and get ready for the worlds."

World and Olympic champion Merritt tested positive for the anabolic steroid DHEA in three tests between October 2009 and January 2010.

In other events, women's 800m world champion Caster Semenya of South Africa slumped to a disappointing eighth in her favored event behind another Jamaican winner, Kenia Sinclair.

Meanwhile, women's 5000m world champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya warmed up for the defence of her title by clocking the fastest time in the world this year.