updated - May 21, 2013 Tuesday EDT
In his first appearance at the London Olympics, Usain Bolt did what he had to do to advance to the 100-meter semifinals, overcoming a slow start to win his heat in 10.09 seconds Saturday.
"I stumbled on the start," the 25-year-old Jamaican said. "I really didn't do a lot of executing."
At Beijing in 2008, a showboating Bolt ruled track and field, winning golds in world-record times in the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay - something no man had ever done at an Olympics. At the 2009 world championships, he lowered his 100 mark to 9.58, which still stands.
Usain Bolt looked into the camera and held up his right index finger and declared: "No. 1, baby. All day, every day." The Jamaican sprinter ran slower than normal, his reaction time ranked sixth of the eight runners in his heat. He insisted all that mattered was that he made it to the semifinals by shrugging off that poor beginning to win his race in 10.09 seconds Saturday.
Gatlin clocked 9.97secs in heat two, only for Bailey to then equal his personal best of 9.88 in the next heat to raise hopes that Bolt's world record of 9.58 could be under threat in tomorrow's semi-finals and final.
Bolt said: "I am feeling good, my legs are feeling good so I am happy. I am training well so I feel like I'm back. My start was good, I am only focused on the semi-finals tomorrow."
Former world champion Tyson Gay eased through in 10.08.
British sprinters Adam Gemili, James Dasaolu and Dwain Chambers all advanced to the semi-finals, with world junior champion Gemili, in 10.11, second behind former world record holder Asafa Powell in his heat.
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