By Gary Smith, World-Track
BERLIN — Usain Bolt started his hunt for the sprint double at the World Championships with a pedestrian 20.70seconds to win his 200 metres heat on Tuesday.
The Jamaican who on Sunday won the 100m title with a world record 19.58secs, hardly broke a sweat in his run, as he eased over the finishing line.
Bolt’s ambition of winning the double became a little less harder Monday when his arch rival and defending champion Tyson Gay announced that he would not take part in the event because of a groin injury. Gay had finished second to Bolt in the 100m.
Also not starting was Great Britain’s Dwain Chambers, a 100m finallist who ran 10.00seconds for sixth place.
In other first round heats, former Olympic champion Shawn Crawford of United States won his opening race in 20.60sec, Antigua’s speciallist Brendan Christian, who decided to race only in the half-lap rather than doing the double, won his heat in 20.81, Jamaican Steve Mullings was also a heat winner with a time of 20.62, as did the Frenchman Martial Mbandjock in 20.65.
Other winners were Alonso Edward (PAN, 20.71), Marlon Devonish (GBR, 20.92), Robert Hering (GER, 20.64) and Jared Connaughton (CAN, 20.82). Defending bronze medallist Wallace Spearmon also booked a second round place.