By Symone Goss, World-Track
BERLIN — World record holder Usain Bolt made light work of his first round 100 metres heat, while the antics from fellow countryman Asafa Powell almost cost him a place into the next stage at the World Championships.
Easing off the gas well before the finish line, Bolt comfortably clocked 10.20 seconds for first place and then quickly trotted off anyway from the journalists to relax before the second round.
Powell in the meantime, showed no signs of being the experienced runner he is when he eased down well beyond the finishing line, after getting a super start and just did enough to get the third spot in 10.38. Frances’ Martial Mbandjock went by him to win the race in 10.28.
"That’s just stupid running from Asafa Powell and he is very lucky," one commentator said as the Jamaican looked at the big screen with anxiety.
American Tyson Gay, the reigning champion looked easy when winning his heat in 10.16 over St Kitts and Nevis’ former world champion Kim Collins.
Other heat winners included Jamaica’s Michael Frater, Americans Mike Rogers and Darvis Patton, Great Britain’s Dwain Chambers, Daniel Bailey of Antigua and Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago.
Also on the track the women’s 3000m Steeplechase saw Olympic champion Gulnara Galkina of Russia showing why she is the favourite by producing a super 9:17.67 to book her place in the final.
"My running was OK today," the Russian said. "I feel good and I am satisfied with the time.
"I know I will have strong rivals in the final, as there are other strong competitors on the start list – Zarudneva, Volkova.. etc. So I want to concentrate for the final and will fight till the end."
Meanwhile, all the big guns, led by world leader Sanya Richards made it safely through to the next round of the women’s 400m.
Richards strolled impressively to victory in her heat in 51.06 over a well relax looking defending champion Christine Ohuruogu (51.30).
Moving on also were Lyudmila Litvinova of Russia, fellow countrywoman Antonina Krivoshapka, Jamaicans Novlene Williams-Mills and Shericka Williams, as well as Botswana’s Amantle Montsho, who defeated Williams running out of lane 8.
In other early results this morning, Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski of Poland took just one throw to produced a mark of 21.19m, well inside the qualifying standard to lead the men’s Shot Put competition.
Going through also were Andrei Mikhnevich (BLR, 20.65), Pavel Lyzhyn (BLR, 20.72), Christian Cantwell (USA, 20.63m), as well as Reese Hoffa (USA, 20.23m).
The women’s triple jump saw Cuban favourite Yargeris Savigne (14.53m) and Russia’s Tatyana Lebedeva (14.45m) easily going through, along with a host of other big talents.