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Bolt closes in on historic double-double
06:02 AEST Thu Aug 9 2012

Usain Bolt is one victory away from becoming the first man to repeat as double Olympic sprint champion and reaching his ambition of becoming a "living legend" after he qualified for the 200m final.

On a balmy, clear Wednesday night, Bolt joked as he got into the blocks, laughed when as he crouched into the blocks and then sped away for a controlled race which he finished by almost jogging across the line.

His win exuded as much confidence as his victory in the 100 on Sunday.

This time, too, everything is set for a direct duel with his training partner Yohan Blake, the silver medallist in the 100.

The 100 should have been the tough part for Bolt where his starting jitters have been an issue.

The 200 is his preferred distance and it showed.

He made a military-style salute when he was announced to the crowd, reggae music blaring in the background.

After his race, he applauded another capacity crowd of 80,000 at the Olympic Stadium.

Blake had the fastest time with 20.01 seconds, compared with 20.18 for Bolt.

"It's the 200 meters and we are both full speed tomorrow," Blake said. "Anything can happen."

Wallace Spearmon was the only American through to the final, and France's Christophe Lemaitre also advanced.

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