By Simone Proietti, Trackalerts.com contributor
Usain Bolt is ready; now it’s time for the second mission, another tough road to the glory. Apparently it could be easier than on 100 meters, with Usain Bolt awaiting a more comfortable engagement. We don’t know if his curve at top speed is the same of the better days, if he has enough propellant to lead at the end his second campaign.
The goal is to gain another gold medal; the fifth medal on 200 meters at World Championships, a big meal, more delicious for him than a dish of fried chicken legs. On Tuesday as he ran 20.28, the fastest time at Worlds, but also Olympics, in a first round. In semis he ran 19.95, easing down from about 80 metres. The question now is his capacity to sustain another round in his journey to the victory, muscular and joint stresses in curves and straight, in a season characterized by few slow races.
Ok, the world record, 19.19, is an untouchable time, but the Jamaican will must run very fast if he wants to add the twelfth world medal in his showcase. Justin Gatlin is again his main rival, the American has reached the semifinal with a solid win in heat 4, running in 20.19. An advantage for the man from the Big Apple is the sureness derived by the test at the end of June during US Trials. Three races in two days, a rehearsal where he burned the track: 19.92 first round, 19.90 semifinal, and the astonishing 19.57 in the final. A time similar to that of Eugene could be needful to win the final in Beijing, a great performance of course, but also a result possible for these contenders.
In Moscow 2013, Bolt ran 9.77 to win the 100m; then 19.66 to repeat a gold in the furlong, preceding his compatriot Warren Weir. In 2013, he ran only two 200m before Worlds, both under 20 seconds. Now the situation is a bit different essentially for two factors: no good races on 200m in this season (the last in June with 20.29 in NY Diamond League), and Gatlin as a big rival, now with a craving of revenge. An advantage for the Jamaican is represented by his competitive spirit, exalted when the task becomes hard, but also by the favorable psychological situation against his rival. Gatlin should be good at avoiding any pressure coming from himself, from the nightmares of that last five meters two days ago. Stay tuned!