Event Report - Men's 200m - Quarter-Final
(L-R) Martial Mbandjock of France, Usain Bolt of Jamaica, David Alerte of France and Kim Collins of St Kitts & Nevis in the men's 200m quarter-finals in Berlin (Getty Images)
Another round, another easy qualification for Usain Bolt in the men's 200m. But as the world record-holder is an almost dead-cert for gold, the battle for precious metal behind him is shaping up to be a fascinating battle.
Bolt's race was actually the slowest of all the quarter final heats, but it was one of the easiest looking 20.41 clockings ever witnessed. He made sure he did just enough to hold off French duo David Alerte (20.51) and Martial Mbandjock (20.55, a PB), which US youngster Charles Clark once again just scraped through with a fastest loser spot in 20.55. Trinidad's Rondell Sorrillo did likewise with his 20.58 in fifth, but it was the end of the road for Olympic 200m finalist Kim Collins (20.84).
On to heat two, where we saw the first of the potential minor medallists, Shawn Crawford. The former Olympic champion showed he has what it takes for a podium finish by running out a clear winner in 20.37, more than three metres ahead of Britain's Marlon Devonish (20.66). Rolando Palacios of Honduras also progressed to the semi finals with 20.69, becoming the most successful Honduran athlete ever at the IAAF World Championships. Japan's Shinji Takahira ran an identical time, but was given fourth place on inspection of the photo finish and will miss out on the semi finals.
Steve Mullings of Jamaica looked every inch a likely medallist as he powered to a 20.23 victory in the third quarter final. Behind him were Ramil Guliyev (20.40) and Paul Hession (20.48), while Brendan Christian and Emmanuel Callander clocked 20.58 and 20.62 to secure a lane in the semis.
The final quarter-final featured a pair of athletes who could challenge for medals. Panama's Alonso Edward took the victory in 20.33, but Wallace Spearmon looked just as impressive with an easy-looking 20.44 in second. Much to the delight of the German fans, Robert Hering finished third and will automatically advance.
The Bolt show continues tomorrow with the semi-finals
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF
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