Beijing - A
tired Usain Bolt and an emotionally fatigued Justin Gatlin progressed
towards their second blockbuster sprint showdown of the world
championships by easing through the 200m heats on Tuesday.
who beat Gatlin to retain his 100m title at the Bird's Nest on
Sunday, shot out of the blocks and led for the entire race before easing
up over the final 15 metres to cross the line in 20.28.
29-year-old Jamaican said he was still feeling the effects of the 100m but will be looking to raise the pace in Wednesday's semi-finals
before peaking for Thursday's final, where he could win a fourth
successive 200m gold.
"Tired, tired, tired," the Olympic champion and world record holder told reporters.
means a lot more to me. I'm a little worried about my fitness and I
need to work a lot over 200m. But I'm a better technical runner over the
200m so we'll see what happens.
"I'm tired and my legs are still sore, but I'm going to have another bath tonight and, hopefully, tomorrow I'll be there."
unbeaten in the 200 metres since 2013 and the 2005 world champion at
the distance before his second doping ban, was even more dominant in the
following heat, maintaining his form through the line to win in 20.19.
33-year-old American, who owns the fastest time of the year (19.57),
said he would have eased up but for the presence behind him of Japan's
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, who finished second in 20.35.
"The 100 metres final was a difficult one for me, also emotionally," said Gatlin.
now I'm going for 200m. I have two days to go. My race would have been
slower but Sani pushed me so much. This young guy from Japan is
Anguillan young gun Zharnel Hughes, who trains with
Bolt in Jamaica but runs for Britain, edged the fifth heat in 20.13
courtesy of his dip for the line, while Panama's Alonso Edwards ran
20.11 to win the second.
The fastest time of the heats, whoever,
came from Ramil Guliyev, who ran quick times as a junior but lost a big
chunk of his career to a ban after deciding to represent Turkey rather
than his native Azerbaijan.
The tattooed 25-year-old ran a national record of 20.01 but said he thought he go faster.
"It was a good run, now I'll prepare for the next one," he said.