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Event Report: Men's 100m 1st round

Normally a formality, the Men's 100m first round had its share of shocks as European champion Francis Obikwelu was disqualified, Qatar's sub-10 performer Samuel Francis limped out and Mark Jelks, a 10.02sec fourth placer in the US trials, also pulled up injured.

Otherwise, world record holder Asafa Powell (JAM) looked impressive, while rival for gold Tyson Gay (USA) qualified in routine fashion. Former champion Kim Collins (SKN) went through as a fastest loser (10.34)

In heat one Nobuharu Asahara (JPN) took an early opportunity to beat Gay, claiming a season’s best 10.14 in the process. Gay was second in 10.19. The third qualifier by right was Sherwin Vries (RSA). Collins was fourth and obliged to wait and see if he went through as fastest loser.

The second heat saw the Antilles’ Brendan Christian also register a season’s best 10.16, with Craig Pickering (GBR; 10.24) and Derrick Atkins (BAH, 10.25), taking the qualifying slots by right.

The sensation came in heat three as Obikwelu, the Olympic silver medallist, was disqualified for a second false start. Britain’s Marlon Devonish won in 10.13 into a -1.5 wind, and easing up. Matic Osovnikar (SLO) and Simon Collio (ITA) followed the Briton home.

There was more upset in heat four as Jelks pulled up and jogged in last. Richard Thompson (TRI) crossed the line first in 10.29. Anson Henry (CAN) and Angel David Rodriguez (ESP) progressed by right.

Cuba’s Henry Vizcaino won heat five, breaking the beam in 10.21, qualifying along with Clement Campbell (JAM) and Vicente de Lima (BRA).

World record-holder Powell eased through heat six in second, the honours gong to Trinidad’s Keston Bledman (10.29). French hope for the future Martial Mbandjock was third.

There followed another shock in the next heat, as Francis, an expected finallist, jogged out of the blocks and pulled up injured in a race won by Jamaica’s Nesta Carter (10.17). The hosts' Naoki Tsukahara caused a stir in second (PB 10.20) with Australia’s Patrick Johnson third.

The eighth and final heat was won by Churandy Martina (AHO) in 10.16 with Mark Lewis-Francis (GBR) and Marc Burns (TRI) going forward to the next round.

Osaka 2007 News Team/mb