The most famous Jamaican since Bob Marley has made his big arrival in Rio.
After a false start — and immediate disqualification — by Bahrain’s Andrew Fisher, Usain Bolt took first in his 100-meter semifinal heat with a blazing time of 9.86.
As is Bolt’s typical style, he didn’t go 100 percent from start to finish. He looked around at about 80 meters, then Bolt was smiling, and slowing down, as he crossed.
“When he is looking that good and that easy to run 9.86, you better hope he loses a shoe or something in the final,” NBC commentator Ato Boldon said on the telecast. “From what we saw now, there is a lot more left in the the tank.”
American Justin Gatlin, considered the only true challenger for Bolt in Sunday night’s final, ran a terrific semifinal sprint, crossing in 9.94. In his heat, Gatlin beat out Jamaican Yohan Blake — another track superstar — who also qualified for the final with a 10.01 finish.
Gatlin and Trayvon Bromell are the two Americans who made the final. Bolt, Gatlin, et. al are schedule to run the 100-meter final at approximately 9:25 p.m. on Sunday night.