Bolt, Blake and Powell ease through 100m heats
LONDON - Triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt strolled into the 100 metre men’s semi-finals after a comfortably victory in his heats.
The Jamaican’s highly-anticipated appearance occurred in heat four, beside Great Britain’s James Dasaolu, and the 25-year-old showman made a mockery of the pre-Olympic doubts surrounding him with a solid 10.09 seconds, as Dasaolu also booked his place with 10.13 secs.
The Olympic Stadium was full-to-the-brim as eager spectators cheered on the world record holder, something that Bolt has been waiting for.
“I expected that crowd reaction,” said Bolt, who also claimed the 200m and men’s 4x100m relay titles in Beijing.
And after destroying his own world record in China – clocking a time of 9.69 secs in the final – Bolt remained coy about doing the same in London. “We’ll see,” he added.
With all eyes on reigning the champion, some of his supporting players had the chance to book their places in tomorrow night’s semi-finals.
USA’s Tyson Gay took victory in the opening heat with 10.08 seconds, ahead of Beijing silver medallist Richard Thompson with 10.14 secs.
And Gay’s compatriot Justin Gatlin laid down his own marker as he eased to the win in the second heat with 9.97 secs – the first sub-10 secs time of round one – before the American show continued with Ryan Bailey’s 9.88 secs.
Dwain Chambers, the second fastest British sprinter of all time behind Linford Christie, lined up in the seventh and final heat and joined teammates Adam Gemili and Dasaolu in today’s semi-finals with a season’s best 10.02 secs.
Bolt’s main rival Yohan Blake – who beat Bolt twice in the recent Jamaican championships – ran a flat 10 secs to help him on his way to the 100m final and lay down the gauntlet.