MOSCOW (AP) — Usain Bolt took it easy on his taped-up tender right foot Friday at the world championships, breezing through the heats of the 200 meters to set him up for a second gold medal.
The 100 champion eased up with 60 meters to go, looked left and right, and when he saw Delanno Williams of Britain smiling ear-to-ear well behind him, Bolt returned the gesture. He then shut the engines off and crossed first in 20.66 seconds.
"Yeah, my foot is all better," Bolt said after his first outing at Luzhniki Stadium since he regained his 100 title on Sunday on an aching foot. "I worked on it over the four days, got a lot of work done. Right now I'm good."
It was the 21st best time of the day, well behind the leading 20.17 of Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa and Adam Gemili of Britain. It didn't matter.
"Just trying to get through the rounds as easily as possible," Bolt said.
The toughest competition in Bolt's favorite event is expected to come from Jamaican teammate Warren Weir, who won his heat in 20.34.
American veteran Wallace Spearmon squeaked through as the third finisher in a tight heat. Despite Bolt's overwhelming presence, especially in the 200, Spearmon hasn't given up hope.
"You can get beat in anything," he said.
The semifinals are set for later Friday, with the final coming on Saturday. If Bolt wins, he goes into the 4x100 relay seeking to win three golds at the worlds for the second time, matching his feat at the last two Olympics.
Another Jamaican will try to get one step ahead of Bolt. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce already has the 100 title and will now go against Olympic champion Allyson Felix of the United States in the final of the 200.
Felix is also seeking three golds. If she wins the 200 and adds the 4x100 and 4x400 relays, it would equal the three golds she won at the London Olympics.
And after three silver medals on Thursday, the United States is ready to get in that golden mood again, and with the men's long jump, 4x400 relay and shot put scheduled, the opportunity is certainly there.
At the longer distances, Mo Farah is looking for a double. The 10,000 champion is favored again to defend his title in the 5,000. He got a similar 5,000-10,000 double at last year's London Games.
Friday's other final is the women's hammer throw.
In the 100 hurdles, Olympic and defending champion Sally Pearson shook of the injury worries that slowed her this season and set a season's best time of 12.62 seconds in her heat, still .07 seconds behind leading qualifier Brianna Rollins of the United States.
Dawn Harper, the 2008 Olympic champion from the United States, finished only third in her heat but still advanced.
Off the track, pole vault great Yelena Isinbayeva backed off from her comments criticizing homosexuality. The Russian said she "may have been misunderstood" when she condemned homosexuality and criticized Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro for painting her fingernails in the rainbow colors to express support for gays and lesbians.
"English is not my first language," Isinbayeva said in a statement. "Let me state in the strongest terms that I am opposed to any discrimination against gay people."