Jamaica's Usain Bolt starts his men's 200m round 1 heat during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 7, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Mark Blinch)
Usain Bolt began his bid to complete an unprecedented Olympic sprint double-double with an "easy run" to breeze through his opening 200 meters heat with minimum fuss on Tuesday.
Less than 48 hours after retaining his 100 crown in scintillating style, the Jamaican eased into Wednesday's semi-finals of his favorite event by winning the opening heat in a pedestrian 20.39 seconds.
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The world's fastest man, hot favorite to follow up his Beijing 200 title and secure gold medals in both the 100 and 200 at successive Games, expended less energy than he does in training, sauntering around the bend before easing up in the home straight.
"Got to take it easy...that was an easy run," he told reporters.
"I am enjoying it. This is my favorite event so I am looking forward to it."
Bolt said his celebrations at scorching to 100 gold in 9.63 seconds, the second fastest time ever, were fairly muted.
"Nothing. I sat up and chilled," said the 200 world record holder who also has the fastest ever 100 time of 9.58 seconds. "I am full of energy. Some friends and I sat and talked."
Bolt's chief rival for gold, compatriot and training partner Yohan Blake, also eased through in 20.38.
"I'm feeling good, that's why they call me The Beast. The track is fast," said Blake, who took silver in the 100 having been talked up as the man to dethrone Bolt in the blue riband event of the Games.
American Wallace Spearmon, who finished third in Beijing but was then disqualified for stepping out of his lane, progressed along with Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre who carries Europe's outside hopes of a medal.
Lemaitre, the European 100 champion who skipped the shorter event in London to concentrate on the half-lap, won his heat but said he had room for improvement.
"The aim is still a medal, but technically I need to run better. I wasn't happy with my bend," he said.
With the leading protagonists doing the bare minimum ahead of tougher tasks ahead, Ecuadorean Alex Quinonez set the fastest time of the heats, setting a national record of 20.28.