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Cruising Bolt and Blake book 200m showdown

ESPN staff
August 8, 2012 « Murray returns from Olympic high with a win | Chartbeat test »

Re-crowned 100m champion Usain Bolt will get the chance to try and defend his 200m Olympic title after a comfortable victory in his semi-final on Wednesday.

Attempting to become the first person ever to win both sprint titles in successive Olympic Games, Bolt burst to the front early and jogged down the home straight to take the line a good yard ahead of his nearest competitor - stopping the clock in an almost irrelevant time of 20.18 seconds.

"It's all about going through as easy as possible," the Jamaican said. "I did that pretty well so I'm happy."

Bolt's closest rival, 100m runner-up Yohan Blake, is also into the final after winning his heat - although he very nearly made a mess of it after easing down violently before the line.

The Jamaican led from the blocks and crossed the line in 20.01s while almost at a standstill, with American Wallace Spearmon - going flat out to hold off Christophe Lemaitre - less than a hundredth of a second behind.

Lemaitre, who opted not to run the 100m to focus on this event, eventually grabbed a fastest loser spot in the final after running 20.03s.

"I've been working really hard at this 200m," Blake said afterwards. "I need to execute well and see what happens. It's always a good chance for me in this event. [Racing Bolt again] is going to be interesting."

Bolt, however, does not believe his younger training partner has the ability to beat him in Thursday evening's final.

"No doubt whatsoever [that I will beat Blake]," Bolt said. "I'm ready. This is my favourite event. People always doubt the champion but I never doubt myself."

In the last of the three semi-finals another Jamaican, Warren Weir, booked his place in the final behind Churandy Martina - who won the race in a time of 20.17s.

Britain's Christian Malcolm was third, but his time of 20.51s was not enough to secure the second fastest loser spot - which instead went to Ecuador's Alex Quinonez.

"I'm disappointed, last ever Games it would have been nice to reach the final but it wasn't to be," Malcolm said. "I can't have any excuses, I'm just getting a little bit older.

"I've had a great time, it's an amazing atmosphere."

200m semi-final results

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