Bolt coasts to victory in 100-meter heat
LONDON — With the same aura, bravado and even the lackluster 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.
“It was brilliant,” Bolt said, referring to the incredible crowd support. “They come out in their numbers.”
In a rare occurrence, though, Bolt was upstaged in the noise department when local great Mo Farah recovered from a stumble with 300 meters to go and won gold in the 10,000 meters — his 10th consecutive global long-distance title going back to 2011.
The British runner, also running on the track in his final major championships, showed the Jamaican how to win gold before saying goodbye.
Bolt is set to retire after the 400-meter relay next weekend. Farah still has the 5,000 next week before heading for the road and the marathon.
Next is today’s semifinals. The final is later tonight.
Justin Gatlin didn’t fare well with the crowd. The American was widely booed for his past doping conviction. 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 one, 2011 champion Yohan Blake struggled all the way and finished 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 (Sylvan Hills) failed to reach Friday’s final in the long jump.
Following a mediocre first attempt and a foul, the American could only manage 25-83/4 meters, 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.
The top performer of the year, Luvo Manyonga, qualified for the final on his first attempt, setting a mark of 26-73/4 beyond the automatic qualifying mark.