LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Defending champion Usain Bolt cruised into the semifinals of the men’s 100 metros dash the London 2012 Olympic Games on Saturday morning.

Bolt, the champion from the Beijing Games, and world record holder in the event, strolled home to a relaxed 10.09 seconds to win his heat, following a huge roar from the large crowd inside the Olympic Stadium.

His training partner Daniel Bailey of Antigua was second in the heat in 10.12secs.

Fastest of the morning though, was American Ryan Bailey, who exerted more energy than anyone else to clock a stunning 9.88secs – equalling his own personal best in the first round.

He was one of two sprinters below the 10-second barrier in the heats this morning.

Also breaking the barrier was American champion and 2004 gold medallist Justin Gatlin, who eased home to 9.97secs when winning the second heat of the morning.

Booking their place also into the semi-finals were world champion Yohan Blake of Jamaica, who posted the third fastest of the morning session, at 10.00secs, his fellow countryman Asafa Powell, at 10.04, Tyson Gay (USA), who won his heat in 10.08 (-1.4 m/s) and Dwain Chambers of Great Britain, who improved his seasonal best big time to 10.02 to win the last heat.

Another impressive run today came from world junior champion and Briton’s rising star Adam Gemili, who ran 10.11 to take second in his heat behind Powell. Defending silver medallist Richard Thompson (TnT) also went through with a performance of 10.14.

Over in the men’s 400m, defending champion LaShawn Merritt failed to qualify from the heat after the American pulled up injured with a hamstring problem he picked up in a tune up race prior to the Games.

Qualifying, however, were world champion Kirani James of Grenada who won his heat in 45.23, Belgium’s Jonathan Borlée, who ran the quickest time of the morning, at 44.43, Chris Brown (BAH, 45.40), Tony McQuay (USA, 45.48), Kévin Borlée (BEL, 45.14) and the impressive Luguelín Santos (DOM, 45.04).

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