Wed | Aug 16, 2017

#RioGoldRush: Bolt cruises into 200m semis ... while Blake and Ashmeade sprint in

Published:Tuesday | August 16, 2016 | 8:27 AM
Usain Bolt competes in men's 200m Round 1/Heat 9.
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Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter

Usain Bolt did not break much of a sweat, as he eased his way into the semi-finals of the men’s 200m at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The double world record holder in the sprints comfortably won the ninth heat in a time of 20.28 seconds as he now turns his attention to tomorrow’s semi-final set for 8 p.m.

The second automatic qualifying spot went to Nigeria’s Ejowvokoghene Oduduru in a personal best of 20.34.

Bolt, having two days ago claimed an unprecedented third straight Olympic 100m title, is seeking to make further history by capturing the coveted sprint double for the third consecutive Games.

Yohan Blake covered the field coming off the bend in heat two and then slowed down to almost walking space, as he finished second in a season best clocking of 20.13. The 2012 Olympic 200m silver medallist was passed on the line by the fast finishing Bruno Hortelano of Spain, who registered a new national record of 20.13.

Jamaica’s other representative in the men’s 200m, Nickel Ashmeade, placed the disappointment of not making the 100m final behind him to win heat six in 20.15.

The 2014 European champion Adam Gemili of Great Britain was second in 20.20 seconds.

The American pair of 100m silver medallists, Justin Gatlin, and 400m bronze medallist, Lashawn Merritt, also made progress after winning their heats in 20.42 and 20.15 respectively.

PROFILES
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:
Bolt made his Olympic debut as a 17-year-old at Athens 2004, where, hampered by a torn hamstring, he went out in the opening round of the 200m.
He is the first athlete to set three world records in a single Olympic Games competition.
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
Events: Men’s 100m, 200m, 4x100m
Personal Best: 100m - 9.69s, 200m - 19.26s
Interesting Facts:
Blake and American Tyson Gay share the title of second fattest man in history with a time of 9.69.
In April 2013, while at a 100-meter race in Jamaica, the hamstring in Blake’s right leg tore, causing him to miss the rest of the season.
In July 2014, his hamstring ripped off his pelvis bone at the 60-meter mark at a race in Glasgow, Scotland resulting in him missing the rest of the season and most of 2015.
In 2011 he capitalized on Bolt false starting in the Daegu World Championships final to take gold.

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
Interesting Facts:
Ashmeade is competing at his first Olympics
Ashmeade and Yohan Blake were St Jago High School teammates