Bolt jogs 19.78 secs in 200m semi-final; Gatlin, Blake, Ashmeade out. Usain Bolt (right) having an exchange with Canada’s Andre De Grasse. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)
World record holder Usain Bolt literally jogged 19.78 (-0.3) seconds to easily win his 200m semi-final and looked to be on course for something special in the final of the event set for 8:30 pm (Jamaica time) today.
Bolt looked really awesome as he ran the first 100m before pulling up the handbrakes and eased home in a season’s best 19.78 seconds. “I definitely think I can go after the world record; I definitely feel that. It’s all about executing right; running the corner efficiently and coming in the straight and run the perfect race,” said Bolt. Bolt, who says he hopes to get lane six or seven which could be better for his world record attempt, refused to be beaten in the semi-final despite a strong effort from Canadian Andre De Grasse, who tried to sneak past him. De Grasse, for his effort, broke his national record timing 19.80 seconds. “I wanted to run slower, but De Grasse had other ideas. “He decided that he wanted to run fast, and I could actually see that he meant business,” Bolt said with a grin on his face. Bolt then confirmed that he is on track for the world record after his super display in this his third 200m of the season. “It means, I am on the right track, that I am energetic, and everything is going smooth. So, hopefully I get a top lane tomorrow (today) which is always better for me, because I am taller, so hopefully everything will go well,” he stated. Yohan Blake who won silver at the London Games in 2012, tied up badly in the straight and finished sixth in 20.37 seconds. American Justin Gatlin also surprisingly joined Blake on the sidelines, despite finishing third in 20.13 seconds. Gatlin was ninth fastest overall. Alonso Edwards of Panama took Gatlin’s heat in 20.07 seconds ahead of veteran Churandy Martina of the Netherlands with 20.10 seconds. “I felt good coming off the turn, then I couldn’t feel myself going home, I don’t know what happened in that part of the race,” Blake said. “I think that the lack of races posed a problem, but I don’t like to find excuses, so I just came out here and did what I had to do, but it wasn’t enough,” he noted. Nickel Ashmeade’s poor performance at the Olympics continued as he could only finish fourth in 20.31 seconds and failed to advance from semi-final one. A comfortable looking LaShawn Merritt of the United States eased to victory in 19.94 seconds ahead of the fast-closing Christophe Lemaitre of France in 20.01 seconds.
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