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#RioGoldRush: Bolt, Blake and Ashmeade to bow into #Rio2016 action today

Published:Saturday | August 13, 2016 | 7:22 AM
Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake share a light moment during training.

Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer

Triple Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt is set to bow into action in the men's 100m during today's morning session at the Rio Olympic Games. 

Bolt is aiming to raise his tally to nine gold medals and enhance his status as the most outstanding sprinter in the 120-year history of the Games.

He pulled out of the National Championships with a hamstring injury in June.

In his the last race before the Rio Games, Bolt bounced back to win the men's 200m in 19.89 seconds at the Anniversary Games in London.

Bolt is ranked third in the men's 100m this season with a time of 9.88 seconds, behind the American pair of Justin Gatlin (9.80) and Trayvon Bromell (9.84).

Bolt will be joined in the heats by his compatriot and 2012 London Olympic double sprint silver medallist Yohan Blake, who is returning to form, and Nickel Ashmeade.

Blake, a former St Jago High School star, has gone under 10 seconds in four of his seven 100m races this season.   

Ashmeade, who is also a former St Jago High School star, recorded a season's best 9.96 seconds at this year's National Championships. 

Meanwhile, national champion Stephenie-Ann McPherson will lead Jamaica's quest for a medal in the women's 400m. McPherson has a season's best time of 50.04 seconds, and will run in lane two of heat one. 

McPherson's compatriot, and 2015 World Championships bronze medalist, Shericka Jackson, will run in lane eight in heat seven.

Christine Day, who finished second to McPherson at the National Championships, is drawn in lane two in heat eight.    

Meanwhile, Kimberly Williams will compete in the Group B of the qualifying round in the triple jump competition. Williams has a season's best jump of 14.56m.

Williams' compatriot Shanieka Thomas is down to compete in Group A.