World Championships: Usain Bolt looks to close in on latest sprint double
Usain Bolt will try to move closer to a sprint double over American rival Justin Gatlin at the world championships in the men`s 200 metres semi-finals in Beijing on Wednesday.
Beijing: Usain Bolt will try to move closer to a sprint double over American rival Justin Gatlin at the world championships in the men`s 200 metres semi-finals in Beijing on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Grenadan Kirani James will bid to back up his London Olympic gold with a world title in the 400m but in what should be a thriller, he will be pushed hard by other contenders including defending champion LaShawn Merritt.
Botswana`s Isaac Makwala could grab headlines by becoming the first man from his country to win a world title after qualifying fastest for the final with a time of 44.11 seconds, while South African Wayde van Niekerk will be a dark horse.
Bolt is never far from the spotlight as the marquee name of athletics and he will be looking to tighten his stranglehold on sprinting`s major titles after pipping two-times doping offender Gatlin in the 100m final at the weekend.
The Jamaican superstar, a six-time Olympic champion, clocked 20.28 seconds to cruise into the semi-finals while Gatlin also won his heat in a time of 20.19.
Bolt, whose victory in an electrifying 100m provided the crisis-hit sport with a tonic after allegations of widespread doping in the build-up to Beijing, is looking to win a seventh individual world championship gold.
The absence from the women`s 200m heats of Jamaica`s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, opting out after already retaining her 100m title, and American Allyson Felix has blown the gold medal race wide open.
Decorated Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown, the former Olympic and world title-holder, could enjoy a golden swansong, although countrywoman Elaine Thompson, Nigeria`s Commonwealth Games champion Blessing Okagbare and Dutch 100m silver medallist Dafne Schippers could also shine.
The ever-present American threat includes Jenna Prandini, Jeneba Tarmogh and Candyce McGrone, who has run 22.08 this year.
Other finals on Wednesday include the women`s pole vault, 400m hurdles and 3,000m steeplechase, as well as the men`s javelin.