Usain Bolt breezes into 100 metres semi-finals at rapturous Olympic Stadium

 

Defending champion Usain Bolt strolled into the semi-finals of the 100
metres today as Olympic history was made on a lightning fast track in
London.

Bolt stumbled out of the blocks in heat four but was soon into his running and looking around at his competitors, the Jamaican doing just enough to win in 10.09 seconds.

But that time looked positively pedestrian after first Justin Gatlin and then fellow American Ryan Bailey broke 10 seconds, a feat never before achieved in the heats of the Olympics.

Gatlin clocked 9.97secs in heat two, only for Bailey to then equal his personal best of 9.88 in the next heat to raise hopes that Bolt's world record of 9.58 could be under threat in tomorrow's semi-finals and final.

Bolt said: "I am feeling good, my legs are feeling good so I am happy. I am training well so I feel like I'm back. My start was good, I am only focused on the semi-finals tomorrow."

Former world champion Tyson Gay eased through in 10.08.

British sprinters Adam Gemili, James Dasaolu and Dwain Chambers all advanced to the semi-finals, with world junior champion Gemili, in 10.11, second behind former world record holder Asafa Powell in his heat.

Chambers, a beneficiary of the British Olympic Association's Games ban for past doping offenders being overturned, had not run quicker than 10.25 in 2012 until today when he clocked 10.02.

He said: "I don't know where 10.02 came from, I've been running 10.2 all summer, but I know that isn't me. I've just put it together at the right time, but I wasn't expecting to run that fast.

"It was difficult because my last Olympic experience was 12 years ago, and I still remember it clearly to this day. The main point is I have become eligible to compete here and I wanted to be sure I made my team, my friends, my family and my supporters proud."

Chambers will be in the lane next to Bolt in tomorrow's second semi-final, while Gemili will be alongside Blake in the third race, with only the first two in each of the three semis guaranteed to make the final.

Great Britain's Jessica Ennis stands just 800 metres away from Olympic heptathlon gold after she continued to dominate the competition.

Ennis opened up a 188-point lead over Lithuania's Austra Skujyte with Ukraine's Lyudmyla Yosypenko third, and tonight's two-lap race will decide who takes the medals.

Three men went under 45 seconds in round one of the 400m, with Jonathan Borlee quickest in a Belgian record of 44.43 seconds.

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius became the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics and Paralympics and the 'Blade Runner' made the semi-finals as defending champion LaShawn Merritt crashed out.

Pistorius was second in the opening heat to advance, while Merritt pulled up injured around 120m into heat six after failing to recover from a hamstring injury suffered in Monaco recently.

Merritt said: "You couldn't even imagine [what I've been through to get here]. Countless hours of treatment from 8am till about 10pm.

"I thought I could come out and get my way through but I'm still young and I have a long career ahead of me. There was no reason to push it. Once I got on that back stretch I started floating and I felt it."

Two-time Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva topped the list of qualifiers for the women's pole vault.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power