August 10, 2005

Gatlin leads U.S. quartet into 200 semi-finals

HELSINKI (Reuters) - World 100 meters champion Justin
Gatlin showed no signs of fatigue in his bid for a sprint
double by cruising into the 200 semi-finals Wednesday.

A confident Gatlin, running his sixth race in Helsinki,
eased off near the line to finish second in his heat behind
Jamaica's Christopher Williams.

Gatlin, who won the world 100 title by the biggest margin
in the championships' history Sunday, is striving to emulate
compatriot Maurice Greene.

The former Olympic champion is the only man to have won the
100-200 double at a world championships, in Seville in 1999.

American Tyson Gay clocked the fastest time of the heats
while defending world champion John Capel and Wallace Spearmon
completed a U.S. quartet through to the semi-finals.

The 20-year-old Spearmon, fastest in the world this year,
only made the event because Olympic champion Shawn Crawford
elected to just run the 100 meters due to a foot problem.

The semi-finals take place later Wednesday with the final