Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin Cruise into Semifinals of World 100m


Sprint rivals Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin sailed through into the semi-finals of the men’s 100m at the world championships on Saturday.

Boos rang around a packed Bird’s Nest in Beijing when Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, was introduced to the crowd over the loudspeaker.

But the 33-year-old Anerican blasted home in the fastest time of 9.83sec, albeit with a windspeed of 2.1m/s, just over the legal limit.

Defending champion Bolt, however, was greeted with whoops and the Jamaican was seen nodding his head along to some piped Bob Marley music at the start before steaming home in a very comfortable 9.96sec.

American Trayvon Bromell set out his stall as a contender. The 20-year-old eased up fully 10 metres from the line in clocking 9.91sec, having already timed 9.84 and 20.03 while competing the double at the Eugene Diamond League this season.

He will be joined in the semi-finals by teammates Tyson Gay — the double 2007 world sprint champion — and Mike Rodgers, both of whom have also served doping bans.

Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut, his right knee heavily strapped, stormed home in 9.92sec with Canadian hope Andre de Grasse, 20, timing 9.99 in second.

Jamaican Asafa Powell, the self-proclaimed “king of the sub-10”, clocked 9.95sec in winning the opening of the seven heats, China’s Bingtian Su nabbing second in 10.03 to the public’s delight.

It was the 92nd time Powell, who served a six-month ban for doping after a positive test saw him miss the 2013 worlds in Moscow, has dipped under the once-mythical 10sec barrier.

Nigerian-born Qatari Femi Ogunode also went sub-10, clocking 9.99sec.

The semi-finals and final are scheduled for the evening session on Sunday.

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