Usain Bolt was made to work for his 200m semi-final win by Canadian Andre De Grasse, but still made the final with ease in a time of 19.78.
Bolt crossed the line laughing as De Grasse pushed him all the way after the Jamaican had eased up in the second half of the race.
”He was supposed to slow down, but he didn’t,” Bolt said after the race. “I was saying ‘what are you doing, it’s the semi-finals’, but he said he had to push me, so whatever.”
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However, there was a shock elsewhere in the semi-finals as Justin Gatlin failed to make it through with a hugely disappointing run.
Gatlin had looked well placed to reach the final as he led the third heat coming off the bend, but he eased off prematurely and was overhauled in a mass finish on the line and his 20.13 was not good enough to make it as a fast loser.
“Everybody is in shock, I don’t know,” said Bolt after watching his sprint rival crash out.
” You can tell from the 100m that he’s getting old…”
Jamaican Yohan Blake, a former 100m world champion, also failed to reach the final, finishing sixth in the same semi as Gatlin.
Fellow American LaShawn Merritt was the only other man under 20 seconds and he also looked strong and comfortable going into Thursday’s final.