BEIJING, China Usain Bolt leads a quartet of Jamaicans that have advanced to the semifinals of the 200 metres at the XV IAAF World Championships here inside the Bird Nest Stadium.
Bolt won his heat but had the 13th fastest time as he shut down well in advance of the finish line, going just above a jog in the final 70 metres.
He won his heat in 20.28 seconds with the Caribbean taking the first three spots as Roberto Skyers of Cuba and Yancarlos Martinez of Dominica finished second and third in 20.29 and 20.34 respectively. Teray Smith of the Bahamas finished sixth in 20.91.
"It is good to win the first one (first round heat). It (the 200m) means a lot to me," Bolt said.
Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade was then pipped on the line for second by Japan’s Abdul Hakim Sani Brown but still qualified from his heat, which was won by world leader Justin Gatlin. Gatlin did 20.19, Sani Brown 20.35 and Ashmeade 20.40. St. Kitts and Nevis’ Antoine Adams was sixth in 20.75.
"The 100m final was a difficult race for me, also emotionally," said Gatlin. "I made some mistakes at the end of my race (100m final). But now I am going for the 200m," he added.
Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes, who trains with Racers Track Club in Jamaica, came through in the final five metres to beat Jamaica’s Julian Forte in their heat. Hughes was timed in 20.13 seconds with Forte doing 20.16 and Brendon Rodney of Canada 20.18 for third. Harold Houston of Bermuda finished last in 20.92.
Jamaica’s fourth competitor Warren Weir finished second to Likourgos-Stefanos Tsakonas of Greece in their heat. The latter did 20.14 seconds with Weir doing 20.24 and Daniel Talbot of Great Britain 30.35 for third. Of note, United States of America’s Wallace Spearmon failed to show at the start.
In the day’s final heat, Antigua’s Miguel Francis ended third to advance to the semifinals. Francis clocked 20.38 as the event was won by Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa in 20.22 as Femi Ogunode of Qatar finished second in 20.25. Trinidad and Tobago’s Kyle Greaux was fifth in 20.51.