Their cordiality on the track already a famous talking point, Usain Bolt and Andre De Grasse will be in the same heat again, standing next to each other in the 200 metre semifinals on Wednesday night.
This is the third time at the Olympic Games that Jamaica’s Bolt and De Grasse from Canada are next to one another in the blocks. Previously, the two raced side-by-side in the 100 metre semifinals, easily advancing to the final where Bolt won gold, and De Grasse took bronze. Both times the sprinters were in each other’s neighbouring lane.
At least the first part of the 100m scenario will be repeated in the longer 200m. Bolt and De Grasse will go from heat two, where the Jamaican has drawn lane four with the Canadian to his outside at five. De Grasse had the fastest time out of heats, running the distance in 20.09 seconds. With the likes of American Ameer Webb and Great Britain’s Adam Gemili also in heat two, where five of eight have run a sub-20 second 200m, this is looking likely to be the fastest path to Thursday’s final.
Canada’s Aaron Brown has drawn lane two in the first semifinal heat on Wednesday. Brown will have to contend with Nickel Ashmeade (Jamaica), Lashawn Merritt (United States) and Christophe Lemaitre (France) in order to have a place in the final.
Heat three features Justin Gatlin, the 100m silver medallist from the United States, along with Jamaican superstar Yohan Blake. Panama’s Alonso Edward and Churandy Martina of the Netherlands are also well known figures at this distance in the third heat.
Top two from each of the three semifinal heats, and then the next two fastest times will all get a lane in the final. The competition begins at 9 p.m. ET.
Here are the heats for the semifinal:
Heat 1 (lane – name, country, personal best)
1 – Rondel Sorrilo, Trinidad and Tobago (20.16)
3 – Nery Brenes, Costa Rica (20.20)
4 – Nickel Ashmeade, Jamaica (19.85)
5 – Jose Carlos Herrera, Mexico (20.17)
6 – Lashawn Merritt, United States (19.74)
7 – Daniel Talbot, Great Britain (20.27)
8 – Christophe Lemaitre, France (19.85)
Heat 2 (lane – name, country, personal best)
1 – Roberto Skyers, Cuba (20.02)
2 – Ameer Webb, United States (19.85)
3 – Salem Eid Yaqoob, Bahrain (20.19)
4 – Usain Bolt, Jamaica (19.19)
6 – Adam Gemili, Great Britain (19.98)
7 – Ejowvokoghene Oduduru, Nigeria (20.34)
8 – Ramil Guliyev, Turkey (19.88)
Heat 3 (lane – name, country, personal best)
1 – Likourgos-Stefanos Tsakonas, Greece (20.09)
2 – Matteo Galvan, Italy (20.50)
3 – Justin Gatlin, United States (19.75)
4 – Bruno Hortelano, Spain (20.12)
5 – Alonso Edward, Panama (19.81)
6 – Yohan Blake, Jamaica (19.26)
7 – Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, Great Britain (19.95)
8 – Churandy Martina, Netherlands (19.85)