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ATHLETICS Bolt, Blake set up rematch to close trials

Sprint aces saunter through to 200m final on Sunday

Reuters
July 2, 2012

Kingston, Jamaica: Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake sauntered through their 200 metres semi-finals on Saturday to set up another rematch and an explosive finish to the Jamaican Olympic trials.

The men’s 200m on Sunday will provide the grand-finale to the four-day meeting that could prove even more dramatic than their 100m showdown won by Blake, as the two fastest men ever over the distance go head-to-head for a last time before London.

Bolt, the Olympic champion and world record holder at 19.19 seconds, will no doubt want to close out a lacklustre meeting on a positive note while Blake, with a best of 19.26, could confirm himself as the man to beat in both events at the Games.

Just 12 hours after Blake had clocked the fastest time of the year to claim a shock win over the world record holder in the 100m, the training partners were back in their starting blocks for preliminary heats in an empty stadium.

Both men showed considerably more zip in the evening semi-finals, Blake powering his way across the line in a time of 19.93 to easily win his heat while Bolt also looked more focused, crossing first in 20.26.

Blake was in no mood to discuss his effort but Bolt, who has spent much of the trials desperately avoiding the media was more relaxed and even eager to talk about his run.

“It’s all about qualifying,” Bolt said. “It was a good overall race.

“I felt good on the corner. I haven’t run a corner in a while so it felt good. I’m feeling all right, I’m feeling a little bit better.”

It has been a trying week for the world’s fastest man, who has struggled out of the blocks and involved in two heats that were disrupted by false starts, including Saturday’s 200m semi, which he shrugged off.

“The 200 is much more easy [for starts],” Bolt added. “I don’t see anybody, so it’s much easier.

“I didn’t want to get lane three in the final so I paced myself, I’m happy and I’m glad that Blake and [Warren] Weir ran faster than me so, I think they will get the lower lanes.”

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