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Rediff.com  » Sports » Bolt leads Jamaican assault on 200m final

Bolt leads Jamaican assault on 200m final

Last updated on: August 16, 2013 23:43 IST

Usain Bolt led three Jamaicans into the final of the men's 200 metres on Friday as the World record holder seeks a third successive world title at his favourite distance.

Bolt's team mates Warren Weir, bronze medallist in last year's Olympics and the next-fastest in the field this season, and Nickel Ashmeade, fresh from his fifth place in the 100 metres final, went through to Saturday's final (2135 IST) as Jamaica bid to match their London Olympics podium sweep.

Hoping to crash their party, however, will be Adam Gemili, after the 19-year-old ran the second-fastest time ever by a Briton to make his first major final. His 19.98 is bettered only by former indoor world champion John Regis, who ran 19.87 when Gemili was nine months old.

Usain Bolt during the men's 200m heat on FridayCurtis Mitchell also went under 20 with a personal best 19.97, the fastest time of the semis, but the lone American in the final will almost certainly be battling for the minor medals behind the imperious Bolt.

The Jamaican, who won the 100m gold on Sunday, dropped a starting block on his foot earlier in the week but said after coming through his morning heat that he was no longer in pain.

In the evening semis he ran a typically strong bend, eased down, then had to push the last couple of strides after upstart South African Anaso Jobodwana in the next lane looked to take his scalp.

Bolt, smiling down at his rival, pushed on for a 20.12 time while the 21-year-old Jobodwana's personal best 20.13 sent him into the final.

Bolt, who set the current world record of 19.19 in Berlin four years ago, is the fastest in the field this season with 19.73 in Paris six weeks ago. His world record mark looks unlikely to be threatened in Moscow but the gold looks secure.

"I just need an ice bath and some rest," said Bolt, who will also go in the 4x100m relay final on Sunday.

"For the final I'd like to get an outside lane, it will be easier for me."

American Tyson Gay would probably have been his main challenger, having clocked 19.74, but the 2007 champion missed the championships after a positive drugs test.

Yohan Blake, the silver medallist in London, is absent through injury while France's Christophe Lamaitre, world bronze medallist in 2011, also withdrew after suffering an injury racing the 100m earlier in the week.

Image: Usain Bolt competes during the men's 200m heats on Friday

Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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