Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin set for 200m final showdown in Beijing

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Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin will do battle for World Championship gold once more after the pair cruised into Thursday's 200 metres final.

Three days on from riding to the rescue of his beleaguered sport, the Jamaican continued his bid for half-lap glory with a strong display at the Bird's Nest.

Bolt won his semi-final with a season's best of 19.95 seconds, easing home ahead of South Africa's Anaso Jobodwana.


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"I felt smooth, I just did what I had to do to qualify," he said. "I'm more professional with 200m, I didn't have to expend a lot of energy.

"I just ran the corner quick enough to make sure I got off in front, pushed about 50m after I came off and then shut it off.

"It was a smooth race, it was a good one. I'm just trying to get it done, that's my focus tomorrow."

Standing in his way of glory is again likely to be two-time drugs cheat Gatlin, whose 19.87secs time was the fastest of the semi-finals.

Dauntingly, the American's time was also the second fastest semi-final time ever on this stage after Francis Obikwelu's 19.84s in 1999.

"I didn't know I was running that fast," Gatlin said. "Hopefully I'll put more energy into the finals and come out on top."

Just a hundredth of a second split the pair in Sunday's 100m final and Zharnel Hughes will be the only thing separating them when they line-up on Thursday.

The Anguilla-born British sprinter produced an impressive display in winning his semi-final and will start the 200m final in lane five, with Gatlin to the left and training partner Bolt to the right.

"I have no expectations going into the final," Hughes said. "I just want to go out and execute my race and hopefully get a medal."

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