British hopes Adam Gemili and Dwain Chambers are through but former World champ Kim Collins is out
Lightly bolt: The Jamaican speedster ran outside 10 seconds, is there more in the tank
Usain Bolt was not his usual self at the Olympic Stadium yesterday.
There was no clowning around with the crowd, just a wave and that was it.
No bow and arrow routine either, but a business-like approach as he crouched into his starting blocks.
When the noise in the stadium quietened, even then Bolt stumbled out before easing away to win his heat in 10.09.
Is it a bluff or not?
As Michael Johnson, the former Olympic 200m and 400m champion, said: “The first thing that stood out was a different Usain Bolt. He is extremely relaxed and there is a lot more to come from him.
“I wonder if he is trying to cover something up, we have not learnt much from this but we will. He is in good position to defend his title though.”
Bolt’s unpredictable summer has become one of the stories of the athletics season.
But has the ultimate showman become the ultimate magician, deceiving us all that is something is wrong before blasting his way to another supersonic time in tonight’s final to leave us all in awe once again?
He was beaten at both the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican trials by Yohan Blake, who qualified yesterday with ease in 10.03.
Bolt has also been suffering with a back injury but the Jamaican, who won the last Olympics 100m in a world record 9.69 which he then lowered to 9.58 a year later, was delighted to be here.
“I expected the reception in London and I was looking forward to it,” said Bolt. “It felt great and the track out there is wonderful.
“I stumbled at the start but I am glad it happened now and not in the final.
“I can’t complain. We have come to the conclusion that we shouldn’t worry about that start, we should just focus on the rest of the race as we always do, the last 50m - that is my strong point.”
There were no major shocks in the opening heats - and there was progress for Britons Dwain Chambers, Adam Gemili and James Dasaolu.
Dasaolu made it through after finishing third in 10.13 behind Bolt and what an occasion too for Chambers and Gemili.
Chambers never thought he would live his dream of running in London 2012 after his drugs shame, but when the Court of Arbitration ruled that the BOA must lift their by-law, he was in.
He was given his place without even securing the qualifying time but made his mark by storming home to win his heat in 10.02.
His reward? In tonight’s second semi, he is drawn in lane five with a certain Mr Bolt to his left.
Chambers said: “You don’t understand how nervous I was. I am really happy to be here.”
As for Gemili, 18, happy was an understatement as the new British star of sprinting soared into the semis.
He was second in his heat in 10.11 which Jamaican Asafa Powell won in 10.04.
Had his life stayed the same, he would have been playing a football friendly for Thurrock against Bishop’s Stortford yesterday but instead, he was being feted by 70,000 people.
“To come to the Olympics and to walk inside the stadium with the cheer is unbelievable for me,” said Gemili.
“Things are happening quickly this year, but I have worked hard. I only started in athletics in January and the results are showing now.”
One man who did not make it to the startline was Kim Collins, the 2003 world champion.
He was dropped by St Kitts & Nevis after leaving the athletes village to spend a night in a hotel with his wife. Collins said, via twitter, that he will not represent them again.