Usain Bolt qualifies for 200 semis

Updated: September 2, 2011, 12:32 AM ET
Associated Press

DAEGU, South Korea -- Usain Bolt easily qualified for the 200-meter semifinals in the world championships Friday, five days after he was disqualified from the 100 final for a false start.

Bolt had the second-slowest start of 53 sprinters in the 200 heats yet easily was the fastest at the line, finishing in 20.30 seconds. He glanced to his left from the outside lane several times before turning off the power and coasting across the line.

When asked how he felt, Bolt simply gave a thumbs up.

If anyone thought Bolt would be left feeling low by his debacle in the 100, they got immediate proof of the opposite once the Jamaican entered Daegu Stadium and heard the crowd roar.

Because of a malfunction to the starting gun, the heats were delayed by eight minutes as track officials tried to fix the problem. Bolt then did his famed "Lightning Bolt" move, getting the highest-pitched scream from the fans all morning. He fake-slicked his hair, did Kung Fu moves, danced like a boxer -- anything to show he had no hang-ups about the biggest setback of his career.

He was careful enough, though, not to risk another false start and reacted only 0.314 after the gun. Once he got going, there was no stopping him.

Walter Dix of the United States was second-fastest in 20.42 seconds and is considered his most credible challenger for the final.

"We'll see," Dix said when asked if he could get past the Olympic champion and world record-holder. "I'll show you."

In the women's 1,600 relay, the United States easily qualified for the final even with its two best runners, Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross, sitting out the heat. Russia was even more impressive with a world-leading 3:20.94. Jamaica and Britain also made it through easily.

The finals in a heavy program late Friday also included the men's shot put and long jump and the women's javelin, 5,000 and 200.

The 200 will likely be a highly charged faceoff between three-time defending champion Felix, 100 champion Carmelita Jeter and two-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown.

In the 5,000, Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya was looking for a long-distance double after winning the 10,000 on the first day of the championships.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press