Usain Bolt raced for the first at the 2016 Olympics and won his opening round 100m heat in 10.07 seconds. Bolt is attempting to become the first man to win three consecutive Olympic 100m gold medals.
"It wasn't the best start, it felt kind of sluggish," said Bolt, who was running just after noon on Saturday in Rio, to the Associated Press. "I'm not used to running this early in the morning in any championships."
Justin Gatlin clocked 10.01 seconds, the fastest time of the first round, to win his heat by .19 seconds.
“It felt good—in control,” Gatlin said to NBC’s Lewis Johnson. “Coach told me to go out there, control the race from the beginning, stay tall to the end and just get ready for the next day.”
Trayvon Bromell finished second in his heat in 10.13 seconds. It was the first Olympic race for the 21-year-old U.S. sprinter.
“Now I got the jitters out of the way, I’m ready to keep moving forward,” Bromell said to Lewis Johnson.
Fellow American Marvin Bracy was third in his heat. The two fastest runners in each heat automatically advanced to the semifinals, but Bracy advanced because he was one of the next eight fastest runners.
Canada’s Andre De Grasse, the 2015 Olympic 100m bronze medalist, and Jamaica’s Yohan Blake, the 2012 Olympic 100m silver medalist, were among the other sprinters who won 100m heats.
Former Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best raced in the same heat as Usain Bolt. He became the first athlete to compete in track and field at an Olympics after playing in the NFL.
The men’s 100m semifinals will take place Sunday at 8:00 p.m. ET. The men’s 100m final will be held later that night.