|Usain Bolt, in Moscow, on Friday
Moscow: Usain Bolt led three Jamaicans into the final of the men’s 200m at the World Championships here on Friday, as the world record holder seeks a third successive world title at his favourite distance.
Bolt’s teammates Warren Weir, bronze medallist in last year’s Olympics and the next-fastest in the field this season, and Nickel Ashmeade, fresh from his fifth place in the 100m final, went through to Saturday’s final as Jamaica bid to match their London Olympics podium sweep.
Hoping to crash their party, however, will be Adam Gemili, after the 19-year-old ran the second-fastest time ever by a Briton to make his first major final. His 19.98 is bettered only by former indoor world champion John Regis, who ran 19.87 when Gemili was nine months old.
The Jamaican, who won the 100m gold on Sunday, dropped a starting block on his foot earlier in the week but said after coming through his morning heat that he was no longer in pain. In the evening semi-finals he ran a typically strong bend, eased down, then had to push the last couple of strides after upstart South African Anaso Jobodwana in the next lane looked to take his scalp.
Bolt, smiling down at his rival, pushed on for a 20.12 time while the 21-year-old Jobodwana's personal best 20.13 sent him into the final.
Bolt, who set the current world record of 19.19 in Berlin four years ago, is the fastest in the field this season with 19.73 in Paris six weeks ago. His world record mark looks unlikely to be threatened in Moscow but the gold looks secure. “I just need an ice bath and some rest,” said Bolt.
World 400m champion LaShawn Merritt anchored an emphatic American men’s 4x400 metres relay triumph on Friday. The US, who have won every world title since 2005, had the race sewn up from David Verburg’s opening leg, with Tony McQuay and Arman Hall extending the advantage to allow Merritt a comfortable last lap. Jamaica just pipped Russia to silver.
Germany’s David Storl retained his world championship shot put title in controversial circumstances on Friday when his winning throw, originally ruled a foul, was allowed to stand after judges consulted a photographer’s camera.
Storl was trailing favourite Ryan Whiting, who settled for silver ahead of Canada’s Dylan Armstrong who took bronze with 21.34.