Usain Bolt ran the fastest time of 2016 in his semifinal on Wednesday, suggesting the Jamaican is ready to defend his men's 200m title at the Rio Olympics. Bolt is coming off a win in the 100m, and with Justin Gatlin out of the picture, apart from a false start, it is difficult to envisage anyone but the 29-year-old taking the gold medal in the final on Thursday.
Bolt showed why he is the greatest sprinter of all-time with a brilliant run in the 100m, where he eased past the likes of Gatlin, Andre De Grasse and Yohan Blake to become the first man to win the event three times.
With the first part of the three-peat done, Bolt will have his eyes firmly set on the 200m, his favourite event by far. After a cruise in the heats on Tuesday, Bolt was at his usual best in the semifinals, coming through in a time of 19.78s, just ahead of De Grasse (19.80s), who, going by his performances, is likely to be the Jamaican's biggest challenger in the 200m final.
Such was De Grasse's desire to beat Bolt in a race that that Canadian pushed the Jamaican all the way, despite it only being a semifinal, where the top two were guaranteed a place in Thursday's marquee clash.
"Andre was supposed to slow down," Bolt said with a smile after winning. He didn't.
"I said: 'What are you doing, it is the semis?' He said he had to push me. I was a bit lazy, I don't know why, but I executed it."
Execution is what Bolt does best, and if he finds that execution of the 200m final to perfection, he could very well dip under his own world record of 19.19s. Bolt believes getting a higher lane could be key towards that.
"I definitely think I can try for the world record, I definitely feel that," Bolt added. "I need to run efficiently and get into the straight and run the perfect race.
"If I get a lower lane it's always harder for me to run the corner when it is tighter."
Before the men's 200m final, there will be five other medal events – the men's 400m final, the men's shot put final, the women's javelin thrown final, the men's decathlon and the women's 400m final. While all of those events will, no doubt, give the fans plenty of excitement, this day is going to be all about the final event; it always is when Bolt is involved.
Where to Watch Live
The men's 200m final is scheduled for a 10.30 p.m. local time (7 a.m. IST, 2.30 a.m. BST next day) start.
India: TV: Star Sports and DD National. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
Jamaica: TV: Television Jamaica CVM.
Canada: TV: RDS and TSN. Live Streaming: TSN TV.
Brazil: TV: SporTV, Globo, Fox Sports and ESPN.
UK and Ireland: TV: BBC. Live Streaming: BBCiPlayer.
Germany: TV: ARD and ZDF.
Australia: TV: Channel 7, 7Two and 7Mate. Live Streaming: Channel 7 online.
Middle East: TV: Bein Sports Arabia. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.