Canberra Times

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Gatlin leads Bolt, Blake into 100m final

Justin Gatlin of the United States led Jamaica's defending champion Usain Bolt and young pretender Yohan Blake into the final of the men's Olympic 100m, but Dwain Chambers failed to make cut.

The mouth-watering final line-up will feature three Americans, three Jamaicans, a Dutchman and a Trinidadian, the latter the only sprinter not to have clocked a qualifying time under 10sec.

Gatlin cruised through his heat in the lead time of 9.82sec ahead of Dutchman Churandy Martin (9.91sec), who pipped Asafa Powell on the line, the Jamaican former world record holder timing 9.94sec.

Powell went on to qualify as one of the two fastest finishers outside the two automatic spots in each of the three heats.

Bolt easily won his heat in 9.87sec, shutting down at 70 metres to coast home ahead of American Ryan Bailey.

Blake, the world 100m champion and Bolt's training partner, clocked 9.85sec ahead of Tyson Gay (9.90sec), the American double world sprint champion in 2007.


The other fastest loser's place went to Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago, the only runner to have timed over 10sec, with 10.02 in Bolt's heat.

There was no dream final appearance for Chambers, however, after the Londoner could only maange 10.05sec.

The 34-year-old finished fourth in the 100m at the 2000 Sydney Games but he was caught using the designer steroid THG in 2003 and banned for two years.

Chambers was only cleared to compete in London in April after overturning a British Olympic Association bylaw that imposed a lifetime Games ban on drugs cheats, although he has been eligible to compete at world championships.