"I start fastest when the gun fires quickly, that's when I'm ready to go," he said.

Bolt's last loss was also in Stockholm in July 2008 when he finished behind compatriot Asafa Powell, who missed Friday's race because of a back injury.

Gay, who received a one-carat diamond for breaking the stadium record with a time 9.84 seconds, acknowledged that Bolt was not at his best, but said he was happy with his own performance.

"I know Usain Bolt is not in his best shape, but I'm still happy with the victory", the American told reporters.

"My body worked well today, I was excited and motivated. The start was OK but I must admit I was surprised not seeing Usain in front after half the race."

It was only the third occasion the two fastest sprinters of all time over 100 metres had met in competition and Gay insisted that Bolt was till the man to beat. 

"Usain knows what his limitations are. His goal this year was to go undefeated, not set world records. He has plenty left in the tank," he said.

The  two previous clashes between Gay and Bolt, at last year's world championships and in New York in 2008, resulted in world records for the Jamaican.

Bolt, Powell and Gay are due to race in the 100m at Brussels on August 27.