World and Olympic 100m championsUsain Bolt Sunday cruised into the final of the IAAF World Championships in Daegu South Korea in characteristically languid style
The Jamaican sprinter established a commanding lead and then throttled down over the last 50m to win comfortably and conserve his energy.
Fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake qualified quickest in 9.95sec, looking impressive in winning heat one, finishing ahead of American Walter Dix.
Other qualifiers were: French pair Jimmy Vicaut and Christophe Lemaitre, the European champion; veteran Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis, world champion in 2003; Jamaica’s Nesta Carter and Daniel Bailey of Antigua.
But Bolt, who received a huge cheer when his name was announced in the stadium is a red-hot favourite.
After storming to the 100m and 200m sprint double in then-world record times at the 2008 Olympics, Bolt matched his feat the following year at the Berlin worlds, setting new marks of 9.58 and 19.19sec.
He is attempting to become the first athlete to retain the 100m and 200m crowns at a world championships.
British sprinter Dwain Chambers, who received a two-year ban and a lifetime suspension from the Olympics in 2003 for using prohibited substance THG, was disqualified for a false start.
“It was pre-race nervousness. I was very optimistic about my chances. I also knew there were four or five faster guys so I knew I had to run beyond my best to qualify,” a disappointed Chambers said.
“The rules have been there for years. Everyone’s got to cope with it. I feel really sunken but I have to keep my thoughts and frustrations. I have a team to support. There are many guys and girls out here who are looking forward to competing at the top level so I have to support them,” he added.
The event in Daegu was deprived of the three fastest men this year — Bolt’s team-mate Asafa Powell, American Tyson Gay, and Jamaican Steve Mullings.