x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Bolt and Gay in semi-finals

The two sprinters remain on track for their 100 metres final showdown at the IAAF World Athletics Championship in Berlin.

Usain Bolt, left, and Tyson Gay were both comfortable in their second round heats at the World Championships in Berlin.
Usain Bolt, left, and Tyson Gay were both comfortable in their second round heats at the World Championships in Berlin.

BERLIN // The Olympic 100 metres gold medallist Usain Bolt and the world champion Tyson Gay kept their much-awaited world championship showdown on track by cruising into the semi-finals in commanding form. Bolt, holder of the 100 and 200 metres world records from last year's Beijing Olympics, looked impressive in his heat, turning his head to see his fellow runners after only 50 metres and exchanging smiles with Daniel Bailey from Antigua who clocked 10.02, a hundredth of a second ahead of the Jamaican.

"I was happy I got out so I did not need to do any more work, so I am just saving, I am enjoying it. Overall it is good, I am happy with myself and I did well," Bolt told the BBC. American Gay, with the best time this year, recovered from a bad start to grab the lead after 80 metres and clock 9.98, ahead of Jamaica's Michael Frater who ran 10.09. Gay, though, said he was starting to feel a nagging groin injury.

"It went pretty well, my groin is pretty sore," he told reporters. But I haven't worked on my start yet so to run that fast felt good." Former world record holder Asafa Powell made amends for just scraping into the second round with a sloppy run in the morning, powering to a heat victory with 9.95, the best time of the day despite a slight headwind. Briton Dwain Chambers shrugged off boos from the crowd to win his heat and book his place in Sunday's semis.

The European indoor 60 metres champion served a two-year doping ban after testing positive for the steroid THG in 2003. "I am very pleased. I felt great this morning," he said. "As you get older it takes longer to recover. It's going well and I'm looking forward to tomorrow." Churandy Martina, fourth in the Beijing Olympics, missed out as the biggest name in the Netherlands Antilles clocked 10.19 for fourth in his heat.

In an unusual decision, Frenchman Christophe Lemaître and Daniel Grueso from Colombia were disqualified from their heat after both were credited with a second false start. * Reuters