Usain Bolt cruises into Olympics 200m semi-finals

 

Usain Bolt began his bid to complete the sprint double at the London Olympics by cruising into the 200m semi-finals in a time of 20.39 seconds.

The 25-year-old Jamaican was joined by countrymen Yohan Blake and Warren Weir, with America's Wallace Spearmon, France's Christophe Lemaitre and Briton Christian Malcolm also through.

GB's James Ellington failed to qualify after finishing sixth in his heat.

The semi-finals are on Wednesday with the final on Thursday.

Analysis

"Bolt would have been a little bit tentative in the 100m, but, now he's won that and set an Olympic record, the 200m is going to be a tremendous amount of fun for him. Yohan Blake is the challengef or him and probably the only challenge, but if Bolt loses the 200m it's not as big as the 100m title."

Four-time Olympic champion Bolt, who defended his 100m crown on Sunday, is also attempting to retain his 200m title from Beijing.

After what was approaching a jog, he told BBC Sport: "The crowd is always wonderful. They play an important role in my running and I love my 200m.

"I try to do my part - I know what comes with winning, so all I have to do is try and enjoy it."

Blake, who won silver behind Bolt in the 100m, also ran a comfortable heat in 20.38secs. "I'm good and I'm healthy," he said. "I'm giving credit to my coach because the 100m taught me a lot.

"It was my first medal in the Olympics. The 200m is my better event because I have more speed endurance."

Despite his vast experience, Malcolm, 33, said he was anxious about competing in front of such a huge home crowd.

But Ellington, who auctioned himself on eBay to raise funds for his training, was clearly disappointed with his run as he could only manage 21.23secs in the final heat.

"I don't know what to say," the 26-year-old said. "It's the slowest race I've done all year. I felt good in the warm-up and I thought I was going to run fast, but came off the bend and had no gas left.

"Training has been going well in Portugal, so I'm just gutted. I just feel like I've taken someone else's place and I feel like I let the team down."