Stylish Bolt loosens up in the heats

The Jamaican sprinter has a great start, indulges in showboating, and yet qualifies for the semi-final with the best time.
Usain Bolt. Getty Images
Usain Bolt. Getty Images

DAEGU, South Korea // Usain Bolt kicked off his world championships like only the golden Jamaican can - with a blazing start that blew away all opposition, leaving him the firm favourite for the 100m final today.

Bolt coasted for the second half of the race for the day's best time of 10.10 seconds, a throwaway mark by his standards. But because of the way he shot out of the blocks, the result on the scoreboard looked more like two perfect 10s for style.

"The key thing was my start," Bolt said. "I've been lacking that but got it perfectly straight. That's why it looked so easy."

Bolt is expected to claim three golds by next weekend. He proved that his form is matching his unsurpassed braggadocio. Two hours before his heat, Bolt was already dancing and prancing in the warm-up area.

At the track, he showed off his Jamaican shirt designed by the daughter of reggae great Bob Marley. He slicked his hair and goatee toward a crowd that was halved after 53,000 fans celebrated the opening ceremony.

Those who stayed saw an impressive Bolt for 50 meters, showing off the power that earned him three gold medals at both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2009 world championships in Berlin.

Now he is heading for the tough part - the semi-finals and final likely today at 8.45pm (3.45pm in the UAE). He still has the 200 and 4x100 relays coming up next week.

His path to the 100 final has been eased because challengers Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay are injured and not competing. "My focus is to go out there and win, execute and show the world I'm still the best," Bolt said. "That's what I'm going to do."

* Associated Press

Published: August 28, 2011 04:00 AM