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World record holder Bolt leads the field into men's 100m finals
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Continuing his good form in the heats, world record holder Usain Bolt sailed effortlessly again into the men's 100 meters sprint finals at the Bird's Nest in the Beijing Olympic Games.

With six out of the eight finalists clocking sub-10 seconds, the finals in Beijing will undoubtedly be the fastest finals in the Olympics.

Bolt didn't even use all strength in one semifinal, blistering an enviable 9.85 seconds. His countryman Asafa Powell, whose world record (9.74 seconds) was stripped off in June by Bolt by two hundredths of a second, will also be in the finals, scheduled later Saturday evening.

World champion Tyson Gay of the United States, who clocked the human's fastest sprint under any conditions in a wind-aided 9.68 seconds, was disqualified for a final berth. He finished the fifth in the semifinals in 10.05 seconds.

Silver medalist in the Athens Olympic men's 100m Francis Obikwelu of Portugal was also out with a lackluster performance of 10.10 seconds.

Including Bolt and Powell, Michael Frater helped construct a dream team of Jamaican sprinters, running in 10.01 seconds into the finals. Two from Trinidad and Tobago, Richard Thompson and Marc Burns will both be in the finals lineup. Two Americans Walter Dix and Darvis Patton would try to defend the U.S. glory in the most eye-catching track and field contest, but unlikely to pose substantial challenge to either of the top two Jamaicans.

Creating his national record in 9.94 seconds, Churandy Martina of Netherlands Antilles is the only one, who is not from any sprinting power, into the finals.

The triple world champion in the men's 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in 2007 in Osaka, Japan, Gay said, "I was upset to lose this game. I had a good start and tried to save some energy in the first half, but found it too late to catch up others later on."

Many thought Gay might get injured during the fierce semifinal competition because he just recovered from hamstring injuries. He said, "Everybody tried to find excuses for me. But I don't think hamstring is a problem. It doesn't hurt."

Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt, who led all qualified for the finals in 9.85 seconds, and his countryman Asafa Powell, who finished in 9.91 seconds, will both line up for the men's 100m sprint later Saturday evening.

When commenting on the superb performance of Jamaican sprinters, Gay said, "I don't think there's a doping problem. Everybody is clean."

Gay said, "I'll continue doing in the relay."

Due to his injuries during the U.S. Olympic trials in late June, Gay failed to make the U.S. 200m Olympian sprinters. He, however, is expected to defend the U.S. crown in the men's 4x100 relay.

(Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2008)


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