Bolt starts his quest in style

World's fastest man jogs to victory while Ohuruogu is just too quick off the blocks

Before settling into her starting blocks in the third of the first round women's 400m heats on the opening day of the World Championships yesterday, Christine Ohuruogu was heard to ponder in a pre-recorded interview: "There's a lot of unfinished business for me in the 400m. There's so much that I feel I've got to learn."

One thing Usain Bolt has been struggling to learn on the comeback trail following injury this summer is to get out of his starting blocks on what the sprinting fraternity like to call the "b" of "bang" He did so to such good effect in his first round 100m heat yesterday, he could affordto jog the last 50m, diverting his gaze to check out his form on the giant screen, and still clock the fastest time of the day.

It was a 10.10sec trot into a headwind that said the Lightning Bolt was back to something heading in the direction of his phenomenal best. On this evidence, had Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell not been on the injured list, they would have probably stood about as much chance of stopping Bolt in the final today as Ohuruogu now has of regaining the 400m crown that she claimed in Osaka in 2007.

Were it not for the 4 x 400m relay, Britain's only reigning Olympic track and field champion would be heading back to Blighty today after leaving all of her business sadly unfinished in the individual 400m on the Daegu Stadium track. In attempting to get away before even the "b" of "bang", Ohuruogu achieved something as rare as a 9.58sec clocking in the 100m: a false start disqualification in a major 400m race.

Clutching her hands to her face as the recall gun fired, she knew the red card was coming before the South Korean official arrived with it and ushered her to trackside, where she watched the race get under way at the second time of asking with a look of stunned disbelief. "Of all the people it could have happened to, it had to be me," Ohuruogu lamented later. "It's just so ironic. I can't believe it... I'm broken."

With that, the 28-year-old Londoner broke into tears. Having struggled to regain her old form after rupturing a quadriceps muscle, Ohuruogu was never likely to feature in the medal mix in Daegu. Had she not jumped the gun in such nervy fashion, however, she would have only needed to better 52.23sec to make it through to today's semi-final stage – as both of her Great Britain team-mates, Lee McConnell and Nicola Sanders, both safely managed to do.

"It was just a complete lack of focus," Michael Johnson, holder of the men's 400m world record, said. "In all honesty, you never know what you're going to get with Christine."

It was a basic error that even the schoolboy novice running in the preliminary round of the men's 100m managed to avoid. Blessed with the build of a hammer thrower, and with no previous 100m time to his name, Sogelau Tuvalu, a 17-year-old high school student from American Samoa, climbed out of his blocks with all the snap of someone wriggling out of a manhole. The rest of the field had disappeared into the distance, but at least it was a valid start. The heavyweight sprint rookie trundled down the track in 15.66sec, finishing last by a margin of 4.24sec. "Thank God it's finished," he said.

Tuvala's reaction time in the blocks was a statuesque 0.269sec. Bolt's was a lightning 0.153sec. The Jamaican looked what he is: a class apart. While Bolt applied the brakes and admired the view, Dwain Chambers strained to claim second in 10.28sec. Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and Marlon Devonish, the other two British representatives, also advanced.

"I feel so happy, because I've been working hard on my start all season," Bolt said. "I'm just here to defend my title, and to show the world, 'Look, I'm still the best'."

The only medal-winning athletes on day one were all wearing Kenyan vests. In the women's marathon, Edna Kiplagat led a 1-2-3 in 2hr 28min 43sec. Kenya then celebrated a 1-2-3-4 in the women's 10,000m, Vivian Cheruiyotprevailing in 30min 48.98sec.

Today's key events

10am Men's 800m semis.

10.30am Men's 100m semis. The penultimate hurdle for Bolt.

11.30am Men's 10,000m final. Fly Mo's moment?

12.45am Men's 100m final. Bolt v the clock.

2am (Monday) Heptathlon 100m hurdles. Jessica Ennis on her marks.

3am Heptathlon high jump.

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
tech
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvRicky Gervais on the return of 'Derek' – and why he still ignores his critics
Sport
Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates his goal
sport
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatreReview: Of Mice and Men, Longacre Theatre
Life & Style
Infant child breast-feeding with eyes closed
healthTo stop mummy having any more babies, according to scientists
News
news
Arts & Entertainment
film
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Arts & Entertainment
Homer meets Lego Marge in the 25th anniversary episode of The Simpsons, set to air on 4 May
tv
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey gets the North Korean leader's look
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal