Usain Bolt eased his way into the semi-finals of the 200m to keep his hopes of achieving an historic ‘triple triple’ alive.
The Jamaican clocked a time of 20.28 seconds during the ninth of 10 preliminary heats for the event at the Estadio Olimpico Joao Havelange, asserting his dominance by jogging home during the final 50m of the race.
The 29-year-old admitted after the race that he was happy to get it out of the way as he was not a fan of the early morning start in Rio de Janeiro.
“I hate the mornings so I am happy to have this out the way. It’s a good start and I’m happy,” he told BBC Sport.
Bolt, who has already secured a gold medal in the 100m in Brazil, remains on course to claim an unprecedented ‘triple triple’ of Olympic success, as he looks to seal overall glory in the 200m and the 4×100m relay for the third successive Games.
The seven-time Olympic gold medallist will be joined in the 200m semi-finals by compatriot Yohan Blake, who just missed out on a medal in the 100m, as well as American duo Justin Gatlin and LaShawn Merritt.
British hopefuls Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake also qualified for the semi-finals which are due to take place on Wednesday evening in Rio.
Bolt is priced at 1.05 to go on and successively defend his 200m crown while the 100m silver medallist, Gatlin, is expected to be the Jamaican’s nearest challenger once again and is available at 13.00.