Usain Bolt launches 200m gold bid in style

 

Usain Bolt began his bid to add a second Olympic 200 metres crown to his two 100m titles with a hugely comfortable heat victory today.

The Jamaican, who clocked an Olympic record 9.63 seconds to retain his 100m crown on Sunday, cruised to victory in 20.39secs.

Bolt has said he needs to win 200m gold again before he achieves his aim of becoming a "legend".

"It was an easy run, I'm enjoying it, it's my favourite event," said Bolt.

"It's getting pretty chilly. They say the weather should be good on Thursday [for the final] so we'll see."

Asked what he did to celebrate his 100m success, he said: "Nothing. I just chilled, met some friends and sat and talked."

Bolt's countryman and training partner Yohan Blake also breezed through, slowing down well before the line to clock 20.38s.

Blake had to settle for silver in the 100m, but is out to deny Bolt a second gold, having beaten him over 200m at the Jamaican trials

France's Christophe Lemaitre went quicker than both Jamaicans in winning his heat in 20.34 and Bolt nodded in approval as he watched his rival's run on a TV screen.

Blake, dubbed 'The Beast' because of his prodigious work ethic, said: "I did what my coach said and qualified. I'm feeling good, that's why they call me the beast. The track is fast.

"I appreciate anything is possible.

"The 100m taught me a lot and it's given me confidence. I love this event."

Asked whether he could beat Bolt, he said: "I'm not really focusing on beating him. I'm concentrating on running my race."

Ecuador's Alex Quinonez was in fact the fastest qualifier in a national record of 20.28.

World number one Aries Merritt qualified impressively in the 110m hurdles in 13.07 as China's Liu Xiang crashed out injured at the first hurdle.

Merritt said: "The track is blisteringly fast. The time (in the final) is going to be extremely fast."

World triple jump champion Christian Taylor took just one jump to book his place in the final, leaping 17.21m with his first effort.

Olympic champion and world record holder Barbora Spotakova topped qualifying in the javelin, the Czech throwing the spear out to 66.19m with her first throw.

Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba, the defending champion, qualified fastest for the final of the 5,000m in 14:58.48.

Dibaba retained her Olympic 10,000m crown on Friday.

PA

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn