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Usain Bolt reaches 200 semis, double-amputee Oscar Pistorius left off relay team for final
DAEGU, South Korea (AP) ' Usain Bolt easily qualified for the 200-meter semifinals in the world championships Friday, five days after he was disqualified from the 100 final for a false start.
Bolt had the second-slowest start of 53 sprinters in the 200 heats, yet easily was the fastest at the line, finishing in 20.30 seconds. He glanced to his left from the outside lane several times before turning off the power and coasting across the line.
When asked how he felt, Bolt simply gave a thumbs up.
It was a thumbs down for double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius after he was left off South Africa's 1,600 relay team for the final after running the leadoff leg that got his team into the championship Friday.
"Haven't Been included in the Final for the SA Mens 4x400m. Pretty Guttered," Pistorius wrote in a Twitter message.
If anyone thought Bolt would be left feeling low by his debacle in the 100, they got immediate proof of the opposite once the Jamaican entered Daegu Stadium and heard the crowd roar.
Because of a malfunction to the starting gun, the heats were delayed by eight minutes as track officials tried to fix the problem. Bolt then did his famed "Lightning Bolt" move, getting the highest-pitched scream from the fans all morning. He fake-slicked his hair, did Kung Fu moves, danced like a boxer ' anything to show he had no hang-ups about the biggest setback of his career.
He was careful enough, though, not to risk another false start, and reacted only 0.314 after the gun. Once he got going, there was no stopping him.
Walter Dix of the United States was second-fastest in 20.42 seconds and is considered his most credible challenger for the final.
"We'll see," Dix said when asked if he could get past the Olympic champion and world-record holder. "I'll show you."
Pistorius had nothing left to show at the championships after the South African team decided to go with L.J. van Zyl, who won bronze in the 400-meter hurdles, in the relay.
"It was a big surprise to us. It is a disappointment, needless to say, for Oscar," his manager, Peet van Zyl, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "He ran a good leg."
After making a historic breakthrough for Paralympic athletes by reaching the semifinals of the 400 early this week, the "Blade Runner" ran a strong opening leg on the tough inside lane Thursday to help South Africa to a third-place finish in its heat and a South African record.
"Gods blessed me! Semifinals in the 400m and a National Record in the 4x400m semi!Thank u all!x," Pistorius wrote on Twitter.
In the women's 1,600 relay, the United States easily qualified for the final even with its two best runners, Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross, sitting out the heat. Russia was even more impressive with a world-leading 3:20.94. Jamaica and Britain also made it through easily.
The finals in a heavy program late Friday also included the men's shot put and long jump, and the women's javelin, 5,000 and 200.
The 200 will likely be a highly charged faceoff between three-time defending champion Felix, 100 champion Carmelita Jeter and two-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown.
In the 5,000, Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya was looking for a long-distance double after winning the 10,000 on the first day of the championships.