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Olympic Games 2008: Usain Bolt cruises to 9.85 in 100m semi-finals; Tyson Gay out

16 August 2008

Usain Bolt at Olympic Games 2008 Usain Bolt at Olympic Games 2008
By Gary Smith

World record holder Usain Bolt and his fellow Jamaican countryman Asafa Powell won their semi-finals of the men's 100-metres in the Beijing Bird Nest Stadium Saturday night.

In fact, the two lead six Caribbean contenders for the title in the finals, with only Americans Walter Dix and Darvis Patton getting through to the title race. Their fellow countryman and world champion Tyson Gay did not make the finals after finishing fifth in his semis.

Bolt clocked another cruising 9.85 seconds to beat Dix (9.95) and Trinidadian Marc Burns, who came home in 9.97. Another Jamaican Michael Frater ran a work man like 10.01 to win the final slot from the heat.

The 21-year-old rush through the opening half of the race before shutting down in the last 20m --- proving that Donavon Bailey's 9.84 Olympic record is seriously under threat.

Meanwhile, Powell also looked impressive when winning the second semi-finals in 9.91 seconds, but unfortunately for Gay, he did not make the finals after finishing fifth in 10.05.

Also looking good was Trinidadian Richard Thompson, who finished second to Powell in 9.93 and Churandy Martina, 9.94. Patton edged out Gay when he ran 10.03 fourth.

In the women's race Jamaicans Kerron Stewart, Shelly Ann Fraser and Sherone Simpson all showed good form when winning their quarter-finals.

The best of them all was however, Stewart, who came home in 10.98 to beat former world champion Lauryn Williams, at 11.08.

Fraser clocked 11.06 to win the first quarter-final, while Simpson ran 11.02 to win the heat right after over American Muna Lee (11.08).

World leader Torri Edwards of USA won her heat also in 11.31. Bahamian Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie completed the heat winners in 11.21.

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