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MOSCOW, August 16 (R-Sport) – As expected, Usain Bolt qualified for the 200-meter final at the world athletics championships on Friday, leading the second of three semifinals by a nose over South Africa's Anaso Jobodwana.
"It was alright, I just had to execute right," the Jamaican star said. "Hopefully, I'll get lane five or six in the final. ... I'm going to go and push myself and see how fast I can run."
But there were surprises at Luzhniki stadium – and they came in the first and third heats in the forms of Curtis Mitchell and Adam Gemili, two of the event's rising stars.
Gemili, 19, achieved his second personal best of the day, topping heat three with a time of 19.98 to become only the second British sprinter to break 20 seconds in the 200 meters. He picked up his previous personal best of 20.17 in qualifying earlier in the day.
"I was in shock going over the line and seeing the time," he said.
Fastest on the evening, though, was Curtis Mitchell, 24, of the United States, who overpowered heat one and, ultimately, led the 24-strong field, with a time of 19.97, a personal best.
"I'm just real blessed right now," Mitchell said. "Everything's coming together, all the hard work, so I'm just happy. It was a good run and tomorrow will be special."
Bolt, the two-time defending world and Olympic champion, who already has a 100-meter gold to his name in Moscow, ran 20.12, good for fourth overall. His Jamaican countryman Nickel Ashmeade, another up-and-comer, ran a season's best, 20 seconds flat, to finish third overall.
Jamaica's Warren Weir finished behind Mitchell and enters Saturday's final as the second automatic qualifier out of heat one. Churandy Martina of the Netherlands and Norway's Jaysuma Ndure finished outside the top two in their respective heats, but qualified with the next two fastest times overall.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.