By Gary Smith, World-Track
BERLIN — Former Olympic champion Shawn Crawford, who is confident of winning the 200 metres at the World Championships, will get his first swipe at the man who stands in his way on Wednesday.
Crawford, the 2004 Olympic champion and silver medallist at the Beijing Games last summer, following two disqualifications, will race against the world record holder Usain Bolt in the first semis of the event, scheduled to go off during the evening session.
The American won his national title with a wind-aided 19.73 seconds and has looked solid in the championships so far.
But with Bolt running much faster — 19.59secs in a negative wind and appalling conditions, the possibility of Crawford getting to the line before the Jamaican seems more complex.
Further more, following his world record 100m run of 9.58secs on Sunday, Bolt believes he can go faster than his current world record of 19.30, a performance that would turn the race into a one man show.
Another athlete looking to join Bolt and Crawford in Thursday’s final from that heat is Panama’s Alonso Edward, a man who could very well spring a big surprised.
Meanwhile, the other semis will see another Jamaican, Steve Mullings leading the way, alongside American former silver and bronze medallist Wallace Spearmon.
Like Edward, Mullings is also on course to hit the medal podium, if he can get it right, while Spearmon will be hoping to continue his good form at the championships so far.
Like they did in Beijing a summer ago, it seems as if the entire Jamaican camp is again feeding off the energy from the "Lightening Bolt."
And why not?
Defending champion Tyson Gay, who finished second in the 100m, pulled from the event because of a groin injury.