Usain Bolt advanced to the 100 metres final at the World Championships – despite finishing behind American Christian Coleman – to remain on course for his golden finale.
The defending champion ran 9.98 seconds at the London Stadium in the third heat of the semi-final of the championships as he chases his 12th world title.
Bolt suffered another poor start – having complained about the starting blocks after the heats – but recovered and eased up on the line as he and Coleman eyed each other up.
World leader Coleman ran 9.97 seconds – he and Bolt posting the only sub-10-second runs of the championships – to beat the Jamaican and make a statement before Saturday evening’s final.
Eight-time Olympic champion Bolt will retire from athletics after next weekend’s 4x100m relay, with the 100m final his last individual global race.
Bolt will run in the semifinals, and presumably, the final on Saturday, then a week later he is expected to sprint off into the sunset in his final race, anchoring Jamaica in the 4×100 relay.
Bolt has said repeatedly that this will be his final global championship, and he will try to cap a career that has been unprecedented and unlikely to ever be repeated.
He owns eight Olympic gold medals and 11 world championship golds. Since 2008, when he set his first world record, he has not lost a championship race, and he has collected 19 gold medals in 21 opportunities at 100, 200 and 4×100. The only two times he has not won gold in that stretch: The 100 at the 2011 worlds, when he was disqualified for a false start; and the 2008 Olympic 4×100, a gold that Jamaica won subsequently stripped because a teammate tested positive for banned substances.
In the only final of the day, Mo Farah of Great Britain won his 10th consecutive global distance title, taking gold in the 10,000 meters, just as he had done at the 2012 London Olympics, to the sustained, race-long roar of the home crowd.
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