Usain Bolt Cruises In Preliminary Heat, Eyes 100m Finals Friday Night

DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA - SEPTEMBER 04: (L-R) Nesta Carter, Yohan Blake, Michael Frater and Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrate victory and a new world record in the men's 4x100 metres relay final during day nine of 13th IAAF World Athletics Championships at Daegu Stadium on September 4, 2011 in Daegu, South Korea. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Usain Bolt will take his first step to defending his 100-meter Olympic gold on Friday night when he competes in the Jamaican National Senior Championships -- Jamaica's equivalent of Olympic trials.

Things got started Thursday and after a false start from one his competitors, Bolt cruised in his preliminary heat, winning in a rather pedestrian 10.06 seconds. As has become customary, Bolt started slowly before catching -- and passing -- the field with about 40 meters left.

Yohan Blake turned in the fastest time in the heats, running 10 seconds flat. Expect everyone's times to go lower Friday, when both the semi-finals and finals are scheduled. Bolt and Blake are expected to compete for the finals win, just as they did at the 2011 World Championships, when Bolt false-started and Blake took the title.

Asafa Powell, fifth in the event at both 2004 and 2008 Olympics, ran his heat in a time of 10.19 to advance to the semi-finals. The trio should all be there when the finals are run Friday night, making for what is typically regarded one of the fastest collections of sprinters anywhere in the world.

The men's 100 meters semi-finals are scheduled for 8:25 p.m. ET with the finals set for 10:25 p.m. Live results can be found at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association website.

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