Usain Bolt coasts to vic­tory in 100 heats

Semi­fi­nals, fi­nals go to­day

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY RAF CASERT

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.

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