08 AUG 2012 Report

London 2012 - Event Report - Men's 200m Semi-Final

Usain Bolt of Jamaica puts his arm on the shoulder of Christophe Lemaitre of France after his Men's 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on 8 August 2012 (Getty Images)Usain Bolt of Jamaica puts his arm on the shoulder of Christophe Lemaitre of France after his Men's 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on 8 August 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Having defended his 100m title, Usain Bolt set himself up nicely to repeat his double sprint success of four years ago when cantering through his semi final effortlessly in a time of 20.17.

With Yohan Blake winning his qualifier in a similar manner and Warren Weir also looking very impressive in his contest, the possibility of a Jamaican clean sweep in the final cannot be ruled out.

Bolt, who candidly admits the 200m is his favourite distance, expended very little energy and after coming off the bend with a lead of two metres, trotted down the home straight as a flat out Anaso Jobodwana lowered his personal best by 0.05sec to 20.27 with Ecuador's Alex Quinonez third in 20.37 also making the cut.

"It is all about going through as easy as possible," said the World record holder, before insisting "I am ready, this is my favourite event. I am here to cement my legendary statused. I am focused and I am ready.

"The track is fast. It's going to be a good race, a lot of good competitors. Spearmon has been here before, so he knows what it takes. There's lots of people that could spoil the party."

Earlier Blake in the first semi with steely determination in his eyes and slowly rocking his head backwards and forwards in concentration before the start, blasted out of his blocks before running a great bend and coming off with a metre's advantage ahead of Wallace Spearmon.

Blake accelerated into a comfortable lead until throttling back 10 metros from the line for a decisive win in 20.01, probably unaware of the great battle going on behind him between Spearmon and Lemaitre.

Spearmon seemed to have the automatic second place tied up until his French rival produced a stunning burst with 40m remaining and almost caught him on the line.

Lemaitre although losing out by 0.01sec to the USA's Number One winning mark of 20.02sec, saw his late challenge earn him a fastest loser's slot in his first Olympic appearance.

"The race was a walk in the park," said Blake. "I've been working hard, all I needed to do was kick well. There is always a good chance (of winning the final) but mistakes can happen."

Spearmon admitting he was running almost flat out, said: "Pretty much. Coming off the turn I thought I was a clear second but I wasn't. I I had to put the gas back on."

Weir may only have finished second in the final qualifier where Churandy Martina beat him across the line by 0.11sec but the less experienced of the Jamaican trio was running totally within himself.

In lane six he could have taken the tape first but just before the finish Weir began eyeballing the Dutchman outside of him who won in 20.17 and now will be determined to avenge his disqualification in 2008 which cost him the silver medal.

"It's very tough, the guys run very hard," said Martina formerly of the Dutch Antilles. "Everyone is going to come ready for the final, so I have to come ready too."

David Martin for the IAAF