Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake easily won their heats on Thursday night to qualify for the 100-metre semi-finals at the Jamaican Olympic Athletic trials.
Reigning world champion Blake was the fastest of the quarter-finalists with a time of 10.00 seconds. Bolt, the Olympic champion and world record holder in the 100m, also won his quarter-final by easing to a 10.06.
Nesta Carter and Asafa Powell were the fastest finishers in the third quarter-final as both were credited with a time of 10.19. The last quarter-final was won by Michael Frater who finished in 10.09.
Top three for Olympics
The top three finishers in the final will punch their tickets to the London Games. Powell said after his race that he expects fireworks in the final. Bolt and Blake declined to comment to reporters.
Powell, who held off Blake to win the title last year, plans to “go all out” in the semi-finals and finals. He said he didn’t push the pace on Thursday because “it is the heats and so we are taking it easy.”
Bolt holds the fastest time in the world this year with the 9.76 he clocked in Rome in May and will be aiming to defend his Olympic crown in London.
On the women’s side, the Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the former world champion Veronica Campbell-Brown and Olympic silver medalist Kerron Stewart will battle in the 100m.
Nearly 400 athletes are competing for about 60 berths in London in what could be the largest Jamaican athletics delegation ever sent to an Olympics.