Two-time defending champion Usain Bolt’s bid to seal a third successive world 200m title advanced smoothly as he coasted to victory in his semi-final on Friday.
The 26-year-old Jamaican, who won the 200m titles in Berlin in 2009 and Daegu in 2011, and is also double Olympic champion and world record holder in the event, timed a comfortable 20.13sec to win his heat and advance to Saturday’s final.
After a good start, Bolt was up on compatriot Jason Livermore in the lane outside him within a matter of metres.
He held his form and came through the line just one-hundredth of a second ahead of South African Anaso Jobodwana, who finished eighth in the final at the London Olympics and looks in impressive form in Moscow.
Bolt, who admitted earlier Friday that he had been nursing a sore foot after regaining his 100m title on Sunday, will be joined in the final by teammates Warren Weir, the Olympic bronze medallist, and Nickel Ashmeade.
“I tried to take it easy, I was watching the American guy (Isiah Young, who finished third) and tried to pace myself,” Bolt said.
“Then I heard footsteps and heard the South African guy coming so I had to change gears a little bit.”
Bolt added: “I will have a good day’s rest and go into the final and get it done.”
American Curtis Mitchell blasted to a personal best of 19.97sec to win his heat ahead of Weir.
“The PB was down to execution. I stayed relaxed and focused,” said the unheralded Mitchell, who is in the same training group as doping-tainted American sprinter Tyson Gay.
Lysenko retains titleRussia’s Tatyana Lysenko won the women’s hammer throw gold in the World Athletics Championships on Friday.
The defending world and Olympic champion managed a best of 78.80 metres, a championship record, with Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk taking silver in a national record of 78.46m and China’s Zhang Wenxiu claiming bronze (75.58).
Meanwhile, Russian Aleksandr Menkov won the men’s long jump crown with a leap of 8.56 metres.