Usain Bolt cruises into 200m final

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The Independent Online

Jamaican Usain Bolt was back to his best today, cruising into the world championships 200 metres final with the greatest of ease before whipping the crowd into a frenzy in Daegu.

"Number one, baby," he mouthed to screaming fans after winning his semi-final in a time of 20.31 seconds.

Bolt, who had kept the showboating to a minimum in the morning heats after his stunning disqualification from the 100 metres final, could not contain himself any longer, primping and preening himself as the camera and the South Korean crowd ate it up.

Among those joining the defending champion and world record holder in Saturday's final are American Walter Dix as well as Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre, who ran the fastest semi-final of 20.17.

"I wanted to be the fastest," Lemaitre told Eurosport. "I hope I can master running the curve."

Bolt blasted out of lane six and had passed American Darvis Patton on his outside in what seemed like the first few strides, powering down the home straight before easing up long before the line.

After getting disqualified from the 100 final for a false start on Sunday, Bolt eschewed showboating and swept past the media without a word earlier on Friday.

However, the lanky Jamaican's celebrations were back on full display after the semi-final as he delivered his signature victory pose then hurled his shoes into the crowd.