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World record holder Bolt shows teeth in Olympic heats
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The men's 100 meters world record holder Usain Bolt showed teeth in the second round of the Olympic competition Friday evening.

The 21-year-old Jamaican, who toppled his countryman Asafa Powell's world record of 9.74 seconds by two hundredths of a second in June, finished in 9.92, the best performance of all qualified for the semifinals Saturday evening.

The men's 100m dash in the Beijing Olympics is widely considered as a head-to-head among Bolt, Powell and world champion Tyson Gay of the United States.

By creating the best till now in the Beijing Olympic Games, Bolt relaxed his muscles after the 70m line, which showed his great potential to improve his performance in later run.

Powell, who just recovered from shoulder injuries and clocked an impressive 9.82 seconds half month ago, finished in 10.02 seconds in the heat, while Gay effortlessly secured a semifinal slot with a result of 10.09 seconds.

Gay said after the heats, "I felt good and relaxed. I just wanted to make it through."

Bolt, a long trained 200m sprinter, frustrated Gay in his world-record run on June 1 in New York, the United States, before he went on to defeat Powell at the Jamaican National Championships, cementing his place as an Olympic gold medal contender.

The only sprinter in history to have five legal runs under 9.80 seconds, the 25-year-old Powell defeated Bolt in Stockholm, Sweden, stormed to victory in London, Britain, and Monaco, in 9.88, 9.94 and 9.82 seconds respectively.

Though shaken by Bolt in confidence, Gay, a 26-year-old who grabbed three golds in 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in 2007 in Osaka, Japan, bounced back to record a wind-aided 9.68 seconds at the US Olympic Trials in June.

Although posing little challenge to either of the three favorites, Derrick Atkins of Bahamas, silver medalist of the 2007 World Championships, Francis Obikwelu of Portugal, Olympic silver medalist, and Darvis Patton of the United States would have handsome chance to line up in the Olympic men's 100m final, which is scheduled on late Saturday night.

All the three super stars are the first time Olympians. World champion Gay has never created world records. Powell has never won a major 100m title, having finished the fifth at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the third at the 2007 World Championships. Bolt was not even an Olympic favorite before he sliced Powell's world record in June. Jamaica, represented by both Bolt and Powell, has never won the men's 100m gold at any Olympic Games.

The Bird's Nest, or the major Olympic venue, has already been heated up after the men's 100m heats.

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2008)

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