L ONDON (AP) -- 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.Bolt dominated the Beijing Games four years ago, 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.
But he's been less than outstanding more recently. A false start knocked him out of the dash at last year's world championships, and he lost to training partner Yohan Blake in the 100 and 200 at the Jamaican Olympic trials. Bolt blamed his poor showings at home on back and hamstring issues.
"My legs are great. My training has been great," Bolt said Saturday. "I'm feeling better."
Might very well be true. Still, his reaction time was only sixth-best in his eight-man heat - the sort of slow start that could make things tough Sunday night, when the 100 semifinals and final are scheduled.
"I stumbled on the start," Bolt said. "I really didn't do a lot of executing."
Blake, whose intensity in practice led Bolt to nickname him "The Beast," looked quite good in his Olympic debut, really coasting at the end while winning his heat in 10 seconds flat.