Usain Bolt returned to the track five days after his 100 metres gold and strolled through the 200m heats at the world championships on Friday.
Bolt, 26, clocked a modest 20.66 seconds to win the final heat, easing up and looking around with 60m to go in front of a sparse crowd in a sunny Luzhniki stadium.
Fellow-Jamaican Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir won his heat in 20.34 and American challenger Isiah Young had 20.70 into the evening’s semifinals.
Bolt reclaimed the 100m title Sunday and is an even bigger favourite in his speciality discipline, the 200m, where he is the two-times reigning world and Olympic champion. His world record stands at 19.19 seconds, and he is the season leader with 19.72.
He appeared less tense as in the 100m on Friday, managing a few smiles and saying “really good, feeling good” as he walked through the mixed zone.
Bolt won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m treble at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and at the 2009 worlds. A false start disqualification over 100m cost him the same at the 2011 worlds. The Moscow relay is Sunday.
Elsewhere, US sensation Brianna Rollins led the women’s 100m hurdles heats in 12.55 seconds from world and Olympic champion Sally Pearson of Australia, who had a season-best of 12.62. Rollins, 21, is unbeaten this year and shot to fourth on the all-time list with 12.26 at the American trials.
“The plan was to come out there and execute my race, just focus on my own lane … I am not focussing on time,” Rollins said.
Elsewhere, Russia’s defending champion, Mariya Abakumova, threw the javelin 69.09m through the crisp morning air, the best result ever achieved at the worlds in qualifying.
American world and Olympic champion Christian Taylor qualified for the triple jump final, and favourites United States, Russia and Britain advanced into the women’s 4x400m final.
Friday evening’s finals — from 1500 GMT onwards — are the women’s 200m and hammer throw, and the men’s 5,000m, 4x400m, long jump and shot put.