The Sports Matrix: Thursday 9 August 2012


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The Independent Online

Bolt and Blake thunder through to 200m finals

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake easily advanced to today's men's 200m final, but gave little away as to who would win in last night's semi-finals. Blake, right, was drawn in the first semi-final and won with ease, finishing in 20.01sec. He was almost caught by the American Wallace Spearmon, who claimed the second automatic qualifying spot in 20.02sec, and Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre, who clocked 20.03sec. "It was a walk in the park," Blake said. Bolt took his foot off the gas from farther out in the second semi, switching to cruise control for the final 50m and finishing the clear winner in 20.18sec. "It's about going through as easy as possible," he said. "I am ready. This is my favourite event. I am here to cement my legendary status. I am focused and I am ready." MORE

Last five 200m finals

2008 Usain Bolt (19.30 sec) 2004 Shawn Crawford(19.79) 2000 Konstantinos Kenteris(20.09) 1996 Michael Johnson(19.32) 1992 Michael Marsh(20.01)

Adams aims for history in the ring

Nicola Adams believes she can become the first woman to win an Olympic boxing gold by beating China's world champion Cancan Ren in today's flyweight final. "I have beaten [Ren] before," said Adams, who yesterday beat Mary Kom. "I can do it again for gold." MORE

Payne desperate to turn pain into gold

Keri-Anne Payne says she has trained dangerously hard in her bid to go one better than 2008's silver in today's 10km open water swim. "I'm always pushing my body to the brink of potential illness," said the 24-year-old. "That's how the training works." MORE

Clarke finishes fourth in hurdles

Lawrence Clarke came fourth in the 110m hurdles last night as USA's Aries Merritt took gold. Andy Turner failed to qualify, finishing fourth in the second heat of the semi-final. Shara Proctor, meanwhile, came ninth in the women's long jump final. MORE

Men's hockey side to attack in semi

Barry Middleton, the captain of Britain's men's hockey team, is remaining level-headed ahead of their Olympic semi-final tonight against the Netherlands. "We've got one over them and they've beaten us too," he said. "They will attack and we'll play the same." MORE

No sweat as Farah looks to 5,000m

Mo Farah says he is under "zero pressure" for Saturday's 5,000m final after qualifying yesterday. "I'm looking forward to the final," said the 10,000m champion. "There is zero pressure. I am not putting any pressure on myself." MORE

Reade ready for final track race

Shanaze Reade was relieved to have started her Games as she heads into tomorrow's final with a top five place from yesterday's first seeding round. "I have been watching titles being won and have just wanted to get out there." MORE

Brailsford aiming high for Rio Games

Dave Brailsford is aiming for Britain's cyclists to flourish again at the 2016 Games. "You've got to go there [Rio De Janeiro] and think, let's win all 10 [track events]," said the performance director. "It's what we've got to aim for." MORE

McIlroy confident about new grass

Rory McIlroy says he has an edge heading into today's US PGA Championship, the first major to be played on paspalum grass, which he is used to practising on at Jack Nicklaus's Bears Club. He said: "We are used to how it reacts." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Dave Brailsford, Team GB's performance director, has the classic winning combination of a hard-man style and the trick of producing with the highest levels of motivation. MORE