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#RioGoldRush: Jamaica's 100m men cruise into semis

Published:Saturday | August 13, 2016 | 8:06 PM
Usain Bolt points to the sky before competing in the Men's 100m Heat 7. - Ricardo Makyn Photo

Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer

Triple Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt barely broke a sweat as he cruised to victory in his heat of the men's 100m at the Rio Olympic Games today.

Bolt who is aiming to increase his Olympic gold medal tally to nine, and enhance his status as the most outstanding sprinter of all time, won his heat in 10.07 seconds.

His time is the fourth fastest heading into tomorrow's semi-finals.

The lanky sprinter said he was pleased with his first round effort.    

"I'm happy to get the first one out of the way,'' said Bolt. "It wasn't the best start, it felt sluggish. I think it's because it is still so early, so hopefully, I will come out and feel much smoother tomorrow. "It's always to win, that's my focus that's what I'm here for, to do my best and execute well, Bolt added. 

Bolt's compatriot and training partner, Yohan Blake also booked his place in the semi-finals, after he won his heat in 10.11 seconds. 

Jamaica's other competitor in the event, Nickel Ashmeade is also through to tomorrow's semi-finals after he finished second in his heat in 10.13 seconds. The race was won by China's Xie Zhenye in 10.08 seconds.

Ashmeade, a former St Jago High School star-athlete, said he was surprised by his time in the first round.   

"It caught me a little off guard because I wasn't planning on running so fast in the heats," said Ashmeade. He said he is now focused on getting to the final and winning a medal. "It's going to be tough, but I have to try my best," Ashmeade said.

 

PROFILE:

Usain Bolt:

Age: 29 years old

High School: William Knibb Memorial High School

Events: men’s 100m, 200m, 4x100m

Personal Best: 100m – 9.58s, 200m – 19.19s

Interesting Facts:

His nickname is “Lightning Bolt”

In the 2012 Olympic Games Bolt became the first athlete in history to win the 100m and 200m sprints at successive Olympic Games

Yohan Blake:

Age: 26 years old

High School: Saint Jago

Tertiary Education: N/A

Events: Men’s 100m, 200m, 4x100m

Personal Best: 100m - 9.69s, 200m - 19.26s

 

Nickel Ashmeade:

Age: 26 years old

High School: St. Jago High School

Tertiary Education: N/A

Events: men’s 100m, 200m, 4x100m

Personal Best: 100m - 9.90s, 200m - 19.85s