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Usain Bolt begins 100m title defence with 9.96 win, Gatlin fastest qualifier for semis

Published:Saturday | August 22, 2015 | 12:00 AM

World record holder, Usain Bolt, began his 100m title defence at the IAAF World Championships by winning his heat in 9.96 (wind -0.2).

Bolt who is looking to add to his eight World Championships gold medals will face stiffer competition in the semi-finals set for 6:10 a.m. tomorrow.

"I'm the champion and I'm here to remind everyone," said Bolt.

"This was a very easy run for me but I'm looking forward to tomorrow and the next rounds."

Mike Rogers of the United States was second in 9.97.

Justin Gatlin also remained on course for a much anticipated clash with Bolt, as he looked in imperious form in winning his heat in 9.83 (wind +2.1), to be the fastest overall qualifier.

"I'm just focused on doing what I need to do to win and having fun. It's going to be a fun race," he said.