International Athletics

Gatlin fastest, Bolt overcomes scare

2015-08-23 13:53
Usain Bolt (AFP)

Beijing - Defending champion Usain Bolt made a meal of it but recovered from a stumbling start to reach Sunday's 100 metres final at the world championships, setting up his Beijing showdown with in-form American Justin Gatlin.

The Olympic champion and world record holder qualified joint third fastest in 9.96 seconds after a blanket finish in the opening semi-final, while Gatlin's 9.77 in the second was the best of the round.

Bolt tottered around the track for a few steps after stumbling coming out of the blocks and needed all his power in the final 50 metres to get back on terms with Canada's Andre de Grasse, who was also awarded a time of 9.96.

"Think I hit my foot too hard," Bolt told reporters. "I'm not sure what happened, I just stumbled.

"It doesn't matter what lane I get, it's the 100 metres but I can't do that in the final."

A smiling Gatlin, who won the world title in 2005 before serving a doping ban, gave his verdict on his comfortable victory in the second heat with the words "easy, breezy".

American Mike Rodgers was second fastest in 9.86, his best run of the year, while his compatriot Tyson Gay also ran a 9.96 to reach the final.

Jamaica's former world record holder Asafa Powell progressed in 9.97.

American Trayvon Bromell, France's Jimmy Vicaut and China's Su Bingtian were all timed at 9.99 and as Su and Vicaut could still not be separated after their times were taken to a 1 000th of a second, all three will race in a nine-man final.

Off the nine, Gatlin, Powell, Gay and Rodgers have all served doping bans.

The final is scheduled for 15:15 SA time.

Read more on:    tyson gay  |  justin gatlin  |  usain bolt  |  athletics


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.