Usain Bolt breezes into 200m semis confident he can break world record

Usain Bolt breezes into 200m semis confident he can break world record

Usain Bolt's belief that he could threaten his 200 metres world record at the Rio Olympics did not look misplaced as he sauntered into the semi-finals.

The Jamaican had a healthy lead coming off the bend and slowed to a jog before he virtually walked across the line in 20.28 seconds.

The 29-year-old, out to complete a 'triple triple' of Olympic sprint crowns in Brazil, claimed after his 100m victory on Sunday night that he felt capable of breaking his seven-year-old mark of 19.19secs at his final Games.

He blamed the brutal schedule, which left little recovery time between the 100m semi-finals and final, for the slow winning time of 9.81s in the blue-riband event, but said the fact the 200m timetable was easier would aid his bid to make history again in his favourite event.

The semis take place on Wednesday and the final the following day.

"I'm feeling okay, a little bit tired, but it was expected," said Bolt, who has maintained he always gets nervous for the 200m, an event he has not failed to win at a global championships since 2007.

"It's the morning session and I'm not a morning person.

"I didn't really run that hard. I know how to run a 200m. Tomorrow I will show much better progress because I will have to run faster, so I'm looking forward to that.

"Most of the young guys always run fast in the heats, but to win is the key thing because you get a better semi-final.

"I'll have enough rest and enough energy to definitely try (for the world record). But we will see tomorrow how it goes."

American Justin Gatlin joined him in progressing from the heats at an again sparsely-populated Olympic Stadium and Sunday night's boos for the two-time drug cheat were this time replaced by cheers.

Gatlin, the sport's pantomime villain, demanded to be shown respect from the stands after his reception for the 100m, which Bolt described as shocking.

And his pleas appeared to have worked as the 34-year-old was warmly received when he took to the track, qualifying easily in 20.42.

Canada's Andre de Grasse, the 100m bronze medallist, was the fastest qualifier in 20.09.

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