World’s fastest man, Usain Bolt who strolled to qualify for the 200m of the Rio Olympics in a time of 20.28secs is determined to erase his own world record in Brazil.
The Jamaican who is gunning for his eighth Olympic gold will return to the tracks for the semi-final at 10pm Brazil time (tonight) and 2am Nigeria time on Thursday.
His preparations for the quadrennial Games could not go on smoothly due to a hamstring injury he copped during trials in his country, but the speedster is nevertheless set to break new grounds in what is likely to be his last Olympic appearance as an athlete.
“I have a long day now to rest, then I have one run tomorrow and more rest so I will have enough energy to definitely try [for the world record],” he said after winning the men’s 200m round one – Heat 9 at the at the Olympic Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, with Nigeria’s Divine Oduduru coming second in a time of 20.34secs.
“I’m always tired for the first round, but the execution was OK and the key thing is that I qualified easy.
“I know how to run a 200m. Tomorrow I will show much better progress because I will have to run faster, so I’m looking forward to that,” remarked the 29-year-old mega-star.
Bolt was critical of the timetable after claiming his 9.81secs 100m-winning time was not quicker due to an unusually tight turnaround between the semi-final and the final.
However, he suggested the extended breaks between the three 200m rounds – which all take place on different days – could help his quest to break the world record, or his own Olympic record of 19.30secs.
“I’m surprised this is how it’s set out,” he said. “Normally we always have to do two rounds in one day.
“I think its actually much better for the 200m, we’ll have time to recover over the days,” said the 200m world record holder in a time of 19.19secs.
The main challenge to Bolt’s 200m crown is likely to come from the American pair of Justin Gatlin and LaShawn Merritt, who both made it through the first round with little concern, while Canada’s 100m bronze medallist, Andre de Grasse was the fastest qualifier in 20.09secs.