The signature event of the Olympics will take place Sunday afternoon as Jamaica's Usain Bolt looks to defend his gold medal in the men's 100m finals in track and field. Bolt will try to hold off three Americans and fellow Jamaicans Usafa Powell and Yohan Blake, who defeated the world-record holder in both the 100m and 200m races during their country's Olympic trials. But Bolt looked like his old "fastest man on earth" self in the semifinals, putting it in cruise control over the final 20 meters and showboating his way across the line.
The semifinals featured seven times under 10 seconds, creating a buzz in the stadium in advance of the finals. American Justin Gatlin posted the fastest time, a 9.82 in the first heat. That's the fastest Olympic time since Bolt ran a 9.69 four years ago in Beijing. In addition to Gatlin, American Tyson Gay looked impressive in the third heat with a 9.90 -- just behind Blake, who crossed in 9.85.
Ryan Bailey was the third American to qualify, posting a time of 9.96 after a slow start in the second heat. It could be the strongest field in the event's history with all three Americans and all three Jamaicans capable of winning a medal.
The final will be at 4:50 p.m. ET and you can watch a livestream of the race at NBCOlympics.com. NBC will carry a tape-delayed broadcast of the race during their evening coverage from 8 p.m. to midnight ET.
Update: SI's Richard Deitsch has the lane assignments:
Here's the official start list for tonight's men's 100 final.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) August 5, 2012
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