07 AUG 2012 Report

London 2012 - Event Report - Men's 200m Round One

Usain Bolt of Jamaica leads Noah Akwu of Nigeria and Isiah Young of the United States in the Men's 200m Round 1 Heats on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on 7 August 2012 (Getty Images)Usain Bolt of Jamaica leads Noah Akwu of Nigeria and Isiah Young of the United States in the Men's 200m Round 1 Heats on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on 7 August 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Usain Bolt having avenged his 100 metres defeat at the hands of Yohan Blake in Jamaica's Olympic trials aims to hand out another reminder that he remains the world’s greatest sprinter in the 200m where the final takes place on Thursday night.

"I've told Yohan Blake, I am not going to let him beat me again. I've said that to him already. When Blake beat me in Jamaica that was a wake-up call," said Bolt before the 200 qualifiers started this morning.

Bolt took the first step to fulfilling his prophesy when winning the first heat with an effortless performance of 20.39 well clear of Aldemir Da Silva Junior and Isiah Young. who clocked 20.53 and 20.55.

The World record holder upbeat after his victory, said "I'm always happy so I'm just enjoying it. It was an easy run. It's my favourite event."

Now with a new challenge underway and semi-finals tomorrow, he added: "I know what comes with winning, success, so I just try to enjoy it. You don't want to block it out, that's joy. It gives you confidence."

However the 25-year-old knowing Blake is the fastest man in the world this year, admitted: "He is the best, hands down. He has shown he can do great things."

Blake apart from being world leader with the 19.80 clocking which bettered Bolt at their trials is also the second fastest ever performer behind Bolts three-year-old record of 19.19, with the 19.26 he achieved in Brussels.

This morning he ran an utterly relaxed bend to come home ahead of Bruno de Barros and Jaysuma Saidy Ndure in 20.38, the other two automatic qualifiers both clocking 20.52.

Blake on the impending clash with Bolt, said: "I'm not really focusing on beating him. I'm concentrating on running my race. My plan is just to execute. I'm going great. I've already got a silver medal."

The possibility of a Jamaican clean sweep cannot be ruled out - although Wallace Spearmon and Christophe Lemaitre will disagree – after Warren Weir another sub-20sec performer claimed his qualifier in an impressive 20.28.

Spearmon disqualified in Beijing for running out of his lane, took a backseat in his race running conservatively for a time 20.47.

The winner Alex Quinonez however surprisingly went hell for leather smashing, with the fastest time of the round, his Ecuador record by 1/100sec in 20.28.

"I will be staying as far away from the lane as possible," said Spearmon. "In 08 it cost me a medal."

Spearmon's team mate Maurice Mitchell also paced himself sensibly edging out former World Junior title holder Christian Malcolm by 0.05sec in a time of 20.54 with Michael Mathieu third in 20.62.

Lemaitre who is the best European candidate to prevent the Jamaican domination of the medals won his heat comfortable - but then expressed concern at his performance.

"The aim is still a medal," said the Frenchman who is fourth in the world lists with a time of 19.91 with which he won the Samsung Diamond League meeting in London last month.

"But technically I need to run better," added the 22-year-old taking part in his first Olympic Games and who clocked 20.34. "I wasn't happy with my bend."

Nevertheless there was still plenty of space between him and Anaso Jobodwana who finished in 20.46 with Aaron Brown equalling his personal best when third in 20.55.

Dave Martin for the IAAF