Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin sail through 200m heats

Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin eased into the semi-finals of the 200 metres with dominant performances in their respective heats at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing.

Bolt slowed to a jog before taking heat three in 20.28 seconds – almost misjudging his deceleration to allow Cuba’s Roberto Skyers (20.29) to sneak through in first.

Gatlin followed it up with a 20.19s clocking in heat four, upping his pace shortly before the finish line to keep Japan’s Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (20.35s) away.

Justin Gatlin (2nd R) crosses the finish line
Justin Gatlin (2nd R) crosses the finish line – Reuters

Assuming both men qualify from their semi-finals, the 200m will again be a showdown between the Jamaican and the American.

Bolt shocked the world to end Gatlin’s 28-race unbeaten run in the 100m. Gatlin was expected to take victory after impressing in the early rounds, but technically fell apart in the closing stages of Saturday’s race as Bolt tore through to snatch victory.

Elsewhere, Britain’s rising sprint star Zharnel Hughes took victory in heat five in 20.13s, with compatriot Danny Talbot (20.35s) also progressing with third spot in heat six.

Turkey’s Ramil Gulivey set a new national record of 20.01s in the opening heat – the fastest time record in Tuesday’s evening session.