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Olympic Games 2008: Campbell-Brown leads Jamaicans in 200m semis; Bolt well set to complete double

19 August 2008

By Stephanie Bailey

Defending Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown won her quarter-finals round of the women's 200m when she finished ahead of American world champion Allyson Felix in a relaxed 22.64 seconds here in Beijing Tuesday night.

Her countryman Usain Bolt set himself up well to win an unprecedented sprint double when he literally jogged home to 20.09secs to win his semi-finals ahead of defending champion Shawn Crawford of USA, second in 20.12.

American Wallace Spearmon (20.14) took third, with St Kitts and Nevis' Kim Collins (20.25) out leaning Antigua's Brendan Christian for the last slot in the finals

The second semis went to Dutch Antilles' Churandy Martina in 20.11 and too, looked composed when winning over Brian Dzingai of Zimbabwe's (20.17), American 100m bronze medallist Walter Dix 20.19 and Britain's Christian Malcolm, 20.25

And now back to the women's race. Campbell-Brown ran an excellent curve and then cruised home in front of her American rival Felix, the second place finisher in 22.74. Defending bronze medallist Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie 0f Bahamas was third in 22.77.

Jamaicans Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart, the joint silver medallists in the 100m also looked impressive in their quarter-finals.

Simspon ran a sizzling bend and eased off the gas to win the final heat in 22.60, while Stewart was equally impressive when finishing second to Russia's Yuliya Chermoshanskaya in 22.74. The Russian ran a personal best of 22.63 to win the race.

The other quarter-final heat went to Rakia Al-Gassra of Bahrain in 22.76. Muriel Hurtis-Houairi of France took second in 22.89, with Sri Lankan Susanthika Jayasinghe posting 22.94 for third and a place in the semis.

Americans Marshevet Hooker (22.76) and Muna Lee (22.83) will also be in the semis.

In the men's 110m hurdles quarter-finals round, world record holder Dayron Robles clocked a comfortable 13.19sec to win his heat.

Americans Davis Oliver (13.16) and David Payne (13.24) were equally impressive when winning their heats also.

Jamaica's 2004 finalist Maurice Wignall was the other heat winner -- turning in his best performance this year by far with a 13.36 performance.

In the meantime, Russian Andrey Silnov captured the men's High Jump competition with a clearance of 2.36m to beat Great Britain's Germaine Mason, whose personal best of 2.34m couldn't have come at the right time, with another Russian athlete, Yaroslav Rybakov, clearing 2.34m for the bronze.

Sweden's defending champion Stefan Holm only cleared 2.32m and was fourth.

The men's 400m is well set for an interesting finals after defending champion Jeremy Wariner and compatriot LaShawn Merritt both stamped their class their respective semis.

Wariner opened up a big lead and then cruised home in the first semi-finals in 44.15, to beat Bahamian Chris Brown

Merritt was also in good form when winning the other in 44.12 seconds to beat the fast finishing Brit, Martyn Rooney, at 44.60 PB. Four runners came from this heat to the finals, with Johan Wissman (SWE 44.64) and Renny Quow (TRI 44.82) coming up for the next places as fastest losers.

The other semis went to France's Leslie Djhone whose power in the final 50m saw him winning in 44.79 over USA's David Neville, at 44.91.

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