LONDON, Aug 12: Usain Bolt began the countdown to his final race by anchoring Jamaica to the 4x100m relay finals with an easy win in the heats here today.
Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the Men’s 4x100 metres relay heats during day nine of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships in London, on Saturday.
Running in his penultimate race of his illustrious career, Bolt eased past the finishing line as he helped the defending champions Jamaica win the second heat in 37.95 seconds, their season’s best, to enter the final round with third best time.
The Jamaican quartet of Tyquendo Tracey, Julian Forte, Micheal Campbell and Bolt led the eight-team second heat from beginning to the end.
Experienced Yohan Blake, who finished fourth in the men’s 100m final and failed to qualify for the final round in 200m, did not start in the heats but Bolt later said that he will return in the final race.
In his trademark style, Bolt grabbed the baton from Campbell, who ran the third leg, and blasted ahead of all his rivals and slowed down while approaching the finish line to conserve energy for the finals.
The top three from each of the two heats and next two fastest finishers from the remaining qualify for the final round.
The United States team of Mike Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Bee Jay Lee and Christian Coleman won the first heat in 37.70 seconds, the world leading time this season, to clock the overall best time going into the final round.
Great Britain clocked the second best time of 37.76, while France were fourth with their season’s best of 38.03.
China (38.20), who had finished second in the 2015 edition at home, Japan (37.21), who took a surprise silver in the Rio Olympics, Turkey (38.44) and Canada (38.48) – third in both 2015 World Championships and Rio Olympics – completed the eight-team final round which will run later tonight. – PTI