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Bolt easy again, Merritt sends 400m warning

By Symone Goss, World-Track

BERLIN — Usain Bolt made it look so easy as he walked his way into the final of the men’s 200 metres at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin this afternoon.

The Jamaican world record holder ran swiftly off the corner and then shut things down with 60m to go win easily in 20.08seconds. With the absence of defending champion world leader Tyson Gay, who is out with a groin injury the gold medal is almost certain to go to Bolt. The question is how fast he will go.

"I am just trying to get through this and rest up for the final, Bolt said. "I was trying to get through as easy as possible.

"I know what I have to go out there and do and know that I am focus and ready. My coach and I don’t really talk during the championships that much unless he sees something I need to work on," he added.

American Wallace Spearmon won the second semis in 20.14 and looked comfortable when beating Jamaican Steve Mullings (20.26), who just edged American Charles Clarke, at 20.27.

LaShawn Merritt proves that he is ready to add the world title to his Olympic gold medal with a world leading 44.37 seconds to win his semis of the men’s 400 metres.

The American led home another impressive performance from Renny Quow of Trinidad and Tobago, who clocked a personal best of 44.53 for second.

Reigning champion, American Jeremy Wariner won his semi-final in 44.69secs over the improving Briton Michael Bingham (44.74, PB), to make sure that he stayed in contention of defending his title.

Last summer in Beijing, Merritt soundly defeated Wariner and dethroned him of his Olympic title and the latter is hoping for a similar result.

Bahamian and Caribbean number one, Chris Brown took the last semis in 44.95, beating fellow islander Tabarie Henry (44.97) from the Virgin Islands.

Meanwhile, the Jamaicans and Canadians sprung some good rivalry in the women’s 100m hurdles ahead of tonight’s final, although it was American Olympic champion Dawn Harper, who looked most impressive from the section.

Pre-championships favourite Priscilla Lopes-Schliep opened with a smooth 12.61sec to beat Jamaica’s Delloreen Ennis-London, 12.64secs before the Jamaicans turn things around in the next race.

Commonwealth Games champion and former world silver and bronze medallist Brigitte Foster-Hylton of Jamaican, posted a seasonal best of 12.54 to beat Canada’s Perdita Felicien (12.58).

But Harper was untouched in the last race when she clocked 12.48 to outpace Australian Olympic silver medallist Sally McLellan, who ran 12.66.

American medal favourite Damu Cherry ran 12.76sec in the second heat and failed to make the final.

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