Tue | Sep 26, 2023

'The key thing was my start' - Bolt eases through fastest after perfect launch

Published:Sunday | August 28, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Jamaica's Usain Bolt (centre) eases across the finish line ahead of South Africa's Simon Magakwe (right) and Zambia's Gerald Phiri in a heat of the men's 100m at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, yesterday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

DAEGU, South Korea:

Usain Bolt was a picture of wanton satisfaction as he crossed the line, winning his 100m heat at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 10.11, the third of four Jamaican wins in the event last night inside the Daegu Stadium.

The results ensure that things remain on course for a Jamaican sweep of the 100m, with the final set for 6:45 a.m. (Jamaica time) today.

Bolt, who had this heat wrapped up at about the 20m mark, was not celebrating his win or even the embarrassing gap that he had established between himself and the second-place finisher, Dwain Chambers.

However, he was rather happy with his explosive start - the synergy between himself and the starter's gun - an element that has been missing from the double world-record holder all season.

Never an excellent starter, Bolt had looked extra rusty coming out of the blocks this season. But he notes that if he makes this clean start a habit, he will be an unbeatable force in Daegu.

"The key thing was my start," Bolt told The Sunday Gleaner shortly after the race. "I have not been getting a good start all season, but I got it here, and that's why it (win) looked so easy.

"I was really happy because I have been trying to get it (a good start) all season, so I know my coach is going to be proud as well," Bolt added. "It was a good run. I came out here and I executed. The focus was just to get through the rounds, and I think I executed well."

Continuing, he added: "For me, time is just time. It's always about the win, so now I am looking forward to the next rounds."

His training partner, Yohan Blake, showed that he will be a concern for the defending champion when he easily dispatched the field in his heat, gearing down in 10.12 in -1.3 metres-per-second wind.

Nesta Carter, 10.26, who was comfortable in winning ahead of Daniel Bailey, 10.34, the Antigua and Barbuda native who trains in Jamaica, also looked in good shape.

So did Michael Frater, who posted a smooth 10.26 seconds to win his heat.

"It's just the heats, so the main aim is always just to qualify, but it was fun out there," Frater said.

Women's 400m trio Novlene Williams-Mills, Rosemarie Whyte, and Shericka Jackson all looked in good shape and easily booked their spot in today's semi-final, to be run at 4:45 a.m. (Jamaica time).

Williams-Mills wins heat

Early leader Williams-Mills, running out of lane eight with American Allyson Felix running on strongly, held on to win in 51.30, with Felix posting 51.45.

Whyte was also successful, advancing after winning her heat in 51.38, while Williams, the 2009 Berlin World Championships 400m silver medallist, was second in her heat in 51.66, behind defending champion Sanya Richards-Ross, who clocked 51.37.

All will have to answer to Botswana's Amantle Montsho, who was quite impressive in qualifying. Montsho was comfortable in posting the fastest qualifying time of 50.95, in the process making Francena McCorory, 52.18, look rather ordinary over the final 100m for her second-place finish.

Long jumper Jovanee Jarrett could only manage a best of 6.19 metres and failed to advance to the final. Jarrett blames a lack of aggression and execution for her below-par performance.

"I felt good. I just wasn't attacking. I wasn't explosive enough and I did not execute my plan well. I think that was what cost me a good jump," Jarrett said.

Things started a bit roughly for the Jamaicans who competed earlier in the day during the morning session, with both women's 3000m steeplechase entrants, Korene Hinds and Mardrea Hyman, failing in their bid to progress to the next round of the event.

Hinds, running in the opening heat, could only manage eighth place with a 9:52.11 clocking, while Hyman, now 39 years old, failed to finish her race.