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1ST LEAD Olympic Bolt show gets started; discus gold remains in Harting family By John Bagratuni, dpa

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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - The final Olympic Bolt show got underway Saturday when the Jamaican supersprinter Usain Bolt cruised into the 100-metre semi-finals - with the unprecedented triple-triple his aim at the Rio Games.

Bolt got a rousing reception from the big crowd and went through his usual antics before clocking 10.07 seconds after a familiar slow start.

Bolt, who turns 30 on August 21 when the Rio Games close, has six Olympic golds and 11 world titles in his glittering career, plus the 100m, 200m and 4x100m world records. He had a hamstring injury setback in June but returned to competition in July.

"It‘s always to win. That‘s what I‘m here for. That‘s what I‘m going for," Bolt told a scrum of reporters after hardly breaking a sweat.

"I feel good. I‘m happy. I got the first one out of the way. It‘s now all about execution and getting it right when it comes to the finals. Tomorrow, I‘m just going to come in and do what I have to do," he added, looking ahead at Sunday‘s semis and final.

Asked how his leg was he looked down with a grin and said: "The leg is good."

American rival Justin Gatlin, the 2004 gold medallist who badly wants to finally beat Bolt on the big stage, also handily advanced with 10.01 seconds, along with 2011 world champion Yohan Blake who won his heat in 10.11.

Bolt‘s presence created the usual buzz and the stadium was very full compared to the empty Friday sessions, with 43,629 tickets sold for a 93 per cent capacity, according to Olympic organizers.

But the sunny morning saw more competition, most notably Christoph Harting stepping out of the shadow of his more famous and successful older brother Robert to take men‘s discus gold for Germany on the penultimate throw of the competition.

After having dropped from second to fourth during the final round, Christoph Harting stepped up for a personal best 68.05 metres to beat European and world champion Piotr Malachowski who had led all the way.

Malachowski had to settle for silver as in Beijing 2008 with 67.32m, and the bronze went to Germany from Daniel Jasinski‘s last-round 67.05m.

Christoph Harting‘s surprise gold came the day after his brother Robert, the three-time world and 2012 Olympic champion, failed to qualify.

"We have another Harting in the final and he can get a medal," Robert Harting had said before the final which he watched from the tribune.

The other finals, in the evening session, are the men‘s 10,000m and long-jump, and on the women‘s side the 100m and completion of the heptathlon.

Elsewhere, Ethiopia‘s Etenesh Diro won the hearts of the fans by completing her 3,000-metre steeplechase heat with one shoe after a fall - and also those of competition judges who advanced her into the final an hour later on appeal.

World champion Allyson Felix of the US advanced into the women‘s 400m semi-finals along with two-time world and 2008 Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu, and women‘s triple jump top favourite Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia needed just one jump to qualify for Sunday‘s final.



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Sankt Petersburg

(19.02.2019 22:55)

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