Click here to watch - Bolt edges past Powell to win 100m Sprint in Rome Golden Gala.
The world's fastest man wasn't quite at his best in his comeback race, but he still did enough to edge out compatriot Asafa Powell by 0.02 seconds to win the 100m sprint at Rome Golden Gala.
Powell finished second in 9.93 secs as Christophe Lemaitre, from France, took third in 10 secs.
After a nine-month injury lay-off, Bolt found it hard to meet his own lofty standards, and afterwards admitted he wasn't happy with his performance.
I don't think I should judge. I was a little bit nervous. he said. It was just to get the cobwebs out and it will be in the next race to determine if the (new bigger) muscles are working. But I got through the race injury-free so it's a good start to the season.
This was my first race for nine or 10 months, that's why the nerves were there but I got through it. I had a bad start, I didn't do so well in transition but the good thing is that I got through injury-free and I look forward to the next race.
Powell, the former world record holder, has the right to feel hard done by defeat. He was leading midway through the race, but Bolt, typically, was strong as the race progressed and surged to the finish line.
Powell was philosophical when saying, Pretty much this was my first real race and every sprinter is nervous for his first race so it's normal. I wouldn't say it was a missed opportunity for me, it's a long season, there are many races to run. This is only one, there are many to go.
We're two of the best athletes in the world, running against each other is just practice to see where we're at, what to work on and just to test the other person.
A special feature was an impressive 47,000-strong crowd who came to witness the battle between the pair. Both Bolt and Powell admitted they were surprised by sheer numbers in the stands.
I've been here a few more times than Usain and this was definitely the most people I've seen in this stand. said Powell. It was very surprising when we stepped out. I thought 'this is ridiculous.
They came to see a great performance and they got that. It's just going to get better and better over the years.
Bolt added, It was a great crowd, full of energy. They came to see a clash and I think they will come back next year because I will.