REUTERS - Triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt looked tired and eased off 30 metres from the finish line as he won his 200 metres second-round heat on Tuesday to reach the semi-finals.
The Jamaican, who had appeared even more sluggish in the morning’s first round, clocked 20.41 seconds.
Without his biggest rival, defending champion Tyson Gay (groin injury), Bolt looks set to complete a sprint double after winning the 100 on Sunday in a world record 9.58.
“I’m feeling alright, a little bit tired, but nothing a good night’s rest won’t cure,” the 22-year-old told reporters.
“I’m just trying to get through the rounds, that’s my aim, to get through round by round just like last year (at the Olympics), then go to the final and execute.”
Fellow Jamaican Steve Mullings, who was banned for two years before returning to racing in 2006, ran the fastest time of the heats (20.23).
American Wallace Spearmon, who was third in last year’s Beijing Olympics only to be disqualified for stepping out of his lane, also went through just behind Panama’s Alonso Edward who clocked 20.33.
Beijing 200 runner-up Shawn Crawford of the U.S. looked in good form, his 20.37 run earning first place in his heat.
Britain’s Marlon Devonish, a former Olympic 4x100 relay gold medallist, qualified in 20.66.
The semi-finals will be staged on Wednesday and the final on Thursday.