OSLO, Norway -- Usain Bolt bounced back from a rare defeat with a track record at the Bislett Games on Thursday in his debut 200 metres of the season.
"I'm not in as bad shape as I thought I was," Bolt said.
Bolt, who lost the 100 metres by one hundredth of a second in Rome the week before, answered concerns about his condition by finishing in 19.79 seconds, the fastest long sprint run by anyone this season.
"Overall it was a good run, I can't complain. It's sub 20," said the Jamaican, who holds the world record at the distance in 19.19. "I could have done better. I think I need to work on my corners but otherwise it was a good race."
Norway's Jaysuma Saidy Ndure finished second with a season best 20.36 seconds, with James Ellington of Britain third in 20.55.
"I knew (Ndure) was going to make sure I ran the corner pretty hard so it was good to have somebody in the mix that runs fast, because it helps for you to push yourself."
Bolt finished three hundredths of a second quicker than Frank Fredericks of Namibia did in 1996 to set the new Bislett record.
The Jamaican is the only athlete to break the 20 second mark over 200 metres this season.
After losing to American Justin Gatlin in Rome last week, Bolt didn't even let a false start from European 200 champion Churandy Martina of the Netherlands put him off.
Martina was disqualified and Bolt powered on regardless at the second attempt, finishing strongly in lane six to leave the crowd on its feet.
"It's always good to have someone directly in front of you," said Bolt of Martina, who had been in lane seven. "It helps to push you harder to get past them on the corner. But you have to learn. This is always good, a learning curve. If it happens in the world championships, then it's already happened here so you know how to deal with it."
Bolt was disqualified for a false start at the 2011 world championships in South Korea.
"I know how it feels, it's not a good feeling," he laughed.
Earlier, Olympic champion Meseret Defar of Ethiopia delighted the crowd by running the fastest women's 5,000 in a world-leading 14:26.90.
There was a surprise in the high jump, where Russia's Olympic bronze medallist Svetlana Shkolina jumped 1.97 metres to beat Olympic and world champion Anna Chicherova into third. Emma Green-Tregaro of Sweden was second.
Croatia's Blanka Vlasic could only tie for fifth as she makes her return from a long-standing Achilles injury.
Tiffany Porter of Britain won the women's 100 hurdles in 12.76, and Czech hurdler Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic continued her great form with a season's best of 53.60 to take the 400 hurdles.
Ekaterina Poistogova of Russia emerged victorious in the women's 800, and Ivet Lalova of Bulgaria edged Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast by one hundredth of a second to win the 100 metres in 11.04 seconds. Both clocked season's bests.
The 19-year-old Conseslus Kipruto led a Kenyan sweep of the top six places in the men's 3,000 steeplechase, winning in 8:04.48 ahead of Ezekiel Kemboi and Hillary Kipsang Yego.
Yousef Ahmed Masrahi of Saudi Arabia finished strongly to win the men's 400, and Djibouti's Ayanleh Souleiman won the mile.