Usain Bolt remains on course for a track ‘triple-triple’, after returning the fastest qualifying time for the finals of the 200m at Rio Olympics. He logged 19.78 seconds.
His compatriot, Elaine Thompson sustained Jamaica’s incredible stranglehold on Olympic sprinting on Wednesday when she added the 200 metres gold to the 100m title she collected earlier at the Rio Games.
After winning nine of the 12 sprint events in 2008 and 2012 combined, Jamaica have now won the first three in Rio and, with Bolt impressively advancing to the 200m final and their relay teams oozing talent, they could take all six.
While Bolt is now one step away from securing a third Olympic sprint double, he had to give top billing on Wednesday to compatriot Thompson, who delivered gold in the 200 despite nursing a tight hamstring.
Bolt and Canadian Andre de Grasse set up a 200m showdown after crossing the line laughing together in their semi-final but 100m silver medalist Justin Gatlin missed out.
Bolt clocked 19.78 seconds with De Grasse claiming a Canadian record 19.80. Bolt
“He was supposed to slow down,” said Bolt, who chastised himself for being lazy. “I said ‘What are you doing, it’s a semi-final?’ But I think he wanted to push me.”
Gatlin, who said he was hampered by an ankle injury, looked well placed before easing up and being overhauled by Dutchman Churandy Martina and Panama’s Alonso Edward.