Usain Bolt coasts to victory in 100 heats
Semifinals, finals go today
With the same aura, bravado and even the lacklustre start, Usain Bolt stuck to tradition Friday in his farewell championships.
The Jamaican great revved up the crowd at the Olympic Stadium and then coasted to victory in his first-round heat in the 100-meter dash.
Bolt looked fully at ease as he crossed the line in a slow 10.07 seconds, making sure he finished first as he slowed down at the end.
“It was brilliant,” Bolt said, referring to the incredible crowd support. “They come out in their numbers.”
Bolt was sluggish out of the blocks, but his massive stride easily made up the deficit. From the 70-meter mark, it was easy.
In Lane 7, he glanced left as he neared the finish and saw all was good - no one close. James Dasaolu of Britain was .06 seconds back.
“It was a slow start,” Bolt said. “I had to push a little bit to get back in the race.”
Next is Saturday’s semifinals. The final is later that night.
Before the race, the goateed Bolt acknowledged the crowd with outstretched arms. He did the eyebrow raising, the wide grins and even some shadow boxing.
Justin Gatlin didn’t fare that well with the crowd. The American was widely for his past doping conviction. But still the biggest threat to Bolt, he easily won his heat in 10.05 seconds.
Christian Coleman, the fastest man of the season so far, won the first heat in 10.01. In the next heat, 2011 champion Yohan Blake struggled all the way and finished only in a tie for second to go through.
Another Jamaican, Julian Forte, matched his lifetime best to become to first man to break the 10-second mark to win his heat in 9.99.
In the first major surprise of the world championships, Olympic champion Jeff Henderson failed to reach Saturday’s final in the long jump.
Following a mediocre first attempt and a foul, the American could only manage 7.84 metres, which was not enough to get him among the top dozen qualifiers. Shaking his head and applauding the fans, he is out of the competition.