Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin book 200m showdown

Usain Bolt set up another duel with Justin Gatlin after breezing into the 200 metres final at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing.

Gatlin, who has served two drugs bans, will be out for revenge after getting pipped on the line in the 100 metres final on Sunday.

Justin Gatlin of the U.S. crosses the finish line as he wins the men's 200 metres semi-finals during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 26, 201
Justin Gatlin of the U.S. crosses the finish line as he wins the men’s 200 metres semi-finals during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 26, 201 – Reuters

The American qualified from heat two in 19.87 seconds ahead of Panama’s Alonso Edward, who is also anticipated to be in the medal hunt come Thursday’s final.

200m Gatlin – Eurosport
Bolt then cruised through in the final heat in 19.95s, taking victory ahead of South Africa’s Anaso Jobodwana (20.01s).

“For me, my 200 is my best event,” Bolt said. “I live for this, so I’m looking forward to it. I know I’m going to do well.”

“Bit tired, as expected,” added the world record holder said.

“Just trying to get as much rest as possible and trying to get through these rounds. Right now I’m feeling okay. I didn’t run a hard corner. I ran maybe 90 percent.”

Usain Bolt of Jamaica (C) reacts after he wins the men's 200 metres semi-finals ahead of Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa (R) during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 26, 2015
Usain Bolt of Jamaica (C) reacts after he wins the men’s 200 metres semi-finals ahead of Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa (R) during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 26, 2015 – Reuters

Such was their dominance, there was even time for the duo to share a smile across the finish line as they eased down in the home straight to take the two automatic qualifying spots.

200m Bolt – Eurosport
Britain’s Zharnel Hughes set out his medal bid with a hugely impressive run in the opening heat.

Hughes came through to win in 20.14s, with Jamaica’s Warren Weir a surprise casualty as he finished seventh. Wier’s compatriot Nickel Ashmeade (20.19s) came second.

Qatar’s Femi Ogunode (20.05s) ran a national record to earn a fastest loser spot, with Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev (20.10s) taking the other to complete the eight-man field for the final.