London, Aug 8 (IANS/CMC):
Sprint superstar Usain Bolt described his opening 200 metres heat here as “easy” as he took a giant step towards an unprecedented repeat Olympic sprint double at the London Games.
Bolt did not have the smoothest curve but cruised down the straight for a comfortable victory in the opening heat in a time of 20.39secs Tuesday, reports CMC.
He said he was a little bit sluggish as he has not run a 200m since the Jamaica trials July 1 but added he was now fully focussed Wednesday’s semifinals.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow where I will have to push myself around the corner a little more and start to run the corner more technical,” the 25-year-old said afterwards.
“I am just looking forward to the next round to test myself on the corner and take it home.”
Meanwhile, Bolt’s Jamaican teammates and training partners Yohan Blake, the 100m silver medallist, and new kid on the block Warren Weir, also won their respective heats.
Blake was comfortable as he showed a big improvement on the curve, eventually jogging across the line in 20.38 seconds.
He is being viewed as the main theat to Bolt’s bid to repeat as 200m champion.
“I did what my coach (Glen Mills) said and qualified,” said Blake.
“I’m feeling good, that’s why they call me ‘The Beast’. The track is fast.”
When asked about the time it will take to win the final, he replied: “Anything is possible.”
Weir, who ran the hurdles during his junior days for Jamaica, had his first outing at the senior level for his country and was timed at 20.29 run.
He also showed composure on the curve before shutting down some 40 metres out and easing to the finish.
Weir took into the semis with him Antoine Adams of St Kitts and Nevis, who finished second in 20.59 seconds.
Meanwhile, former world champion Ryan Braithwaite led three Caribbean athletes into the semi-final round of the men’s 110m hurdles, to be staged Wednesday night.
Brathwaite, winner at the 2009 World Championships, ran 13.23 seconds to finish second behind American Aries Merritt, one of the favourites, who won heat five in 13.07 – the fastest time of the day.
Jamaican Richard Phillips, in his third Olympics, qualified as one of the fastest losers from the heat.
Brathwaite said the aim was to take it easy in the heats.
“My coach told me just to go out and cruise through the heats and go hard in the semis,” he explained.
“I just eased down at the seventh hurdle just to maintain the second place because it’s the top three that qualify.”