Usain Bolt sent out a chilling message to his rivals that the Jamaican defending champion is fully fit and remains the man to beat in the Olympic 100 metres as he romped to victory in his semi-final in 9.87 seconds on Sunday.
There had been fears that Bolt was still struggling with a tight hamstring but he looked lithe and loose and, easing up with 30 metres to go, looked in form to win the final later on Sunday and possibly threaten his world record of 9.58 seconds.
American Justin Gatlin, the 2004 winner back in action after a doping ban, impressively won the first heat in 9.82 but former world record holder Asafa Powell was only third in 9.94 and was hoping to scrape into the final as a fast loser despite getting a great start.
"(The track is) very fast. I hope we see something amazing tonight," Gatlin told reporters.