Olympic champion Usain Bolt had few worries in qualifying fastest for Sunday night’s 100-meters final at the world championships in Berlin despite suffering a rare false start.
The Jamaican clocked the fastest time of the two semifinals as he came home in 9.89 seconds, again being able to take his foot off the pedal long before the finish. Bolt will line up alongside defending champion Tyson Gay after the American won the second semifinal in 9.93 as he needed to dig deeper in edging out former world record-holder Asafa Powell at the finish. The 22-year-old Bolt, who holds the world record of 9.69 set at the Beijing Olympics last year, was clearly up out of the blocks before the starting gun — which under next year’s new rules would have disqualified him automatically. British sprinter Tyrone Edgar was then unlucky to have been adjudged to start just 0.094 seconds too quickly and be disqualified, setting nerves jangling among the competitors.
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But Bolt kept calm and surged ahead of the field, slowing down as far as 20 meters from the finish as he allowed training partner Daniel Bailey of Antigua to gain ground on him. Bailey clocked 9.96 with American Darvis Patton third and Marc Burns of Trinidad claiming fourth in 10.01 to also qualify for the final. Bolt’s compatriot Powell timed 9.95 while Richard Thompson of Trinidad (9.98) and Britain’s Dwain Chambers (10.04) also qualified. Meanwhile, American Sanya Richards again dominated Olympic and world champion Christine Ohuruogu as she qualified for Monday’s women’s 400m final. Richards, who also defeated the Briton in the opening round, won the third and slowest of the three semifinals in a time of 50.21 seconds, while Ohuruogu clocked a season’s best 50.35 as she made a traditional strong finish. Jamaica’s Shericka Williams qualified fastest in winning the second semifinal in 49.51 ahead of Russia’s Antonina Krivoshapka (49.67), with Debbie Dunn of the U.S. claiming one of the two other spots up for grabs in 49.95. Novlene Williams-Mills of Jamaica won the opening semi in 49.88, edging out Botswana’s Amantle Montsho (49.89), while Russia’s Anastasiya Kapachinskaya also went through in 50.30.