Usain Bolt continues to chase history just as his competitors continue to chase him. Based on the early returns at the London Olympics, Bolt's chase seems at least as likely to succeed.

Returning to the track two days after establishing a new Olympic record in the 100 meters, Bolt advanced to the semifinal in the 200 meters, finishing 1st in his Round 1 heat without seeming to exert much effort. Having already joined Carl Lewis as the only man to win consecutive gold medals in the 100, Bolt is looking to become the first ever to pull off the feat in the 200.

The 25-year-old Jamaican track star covered the distance in 20.39 seconds, easily defeating a field composed of eight other runners who had never gotten under 20 seconds in this event. Also initially clinching spots in the semifinal from Bolt's heat were Aldemir da Silva Junior of Brazil (20.53) who finished second and Isiah Young of the United States who crossed the line third (20.55). Bolt holds the world record (19.19 set in Berlin 2009) and the Olympic record (19.30 in Beijing 2008) in the 200 meters. After capturing gold in the 100 on Sunday night, Bolt let everyone know -- including countryman and competitor Yohan Blake -- that he is confident he would soon also be holding a gold medal in this event.

"I've told Yohan Blake that 200 meters will be different, because that's my signature event," Bolt told reporters. "I'm not going to let him beat me again. I've said that to him already."

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

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  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, left, crosses the finish line ahead of Ryan Bailey of the United States in the men's 4x100-meter relay final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. Jamaica set a new world record with a time of 36.84 seconds. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, left, heads for the finish line ahead of Ryan Bailey of the United States in the men's 4x100-meter relay final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. Jamaica set a new world record with a time of 36.84 seconds. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, right, and United States' Ryan Bailey run the final leg of the men's 4x100-meter relay final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. Jamaica set a new world record with a time of 36.84 seconds. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt and Great Britain's Mohamed Farah imitate each other after the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt poses on the podium after receiving his gold medal for the men's 4x100-meter relay during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. Jamaica set a new world record with a time of 36.84 seconds. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • United States' Ryan Bailey, left, and Jamaica's Usain Bolt, second from right, power ahead after receiving the batons from their team members in the men's 4x100-meter relay final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • United States' Ryan Bailey, left, receives the baton from United States' Tyson Gay, second from left, as Jamaica's Usain Bolt, second from right, receives the baton from Jamaica's Yohan Blake in the men's 4x100-meter relay final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Jamaica's Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake celebrate as they receive their gold medals for the men's 4x100-meter during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, right, and Yohan Blake celebrate their win in the men's 4 x 100-meter relay during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. Jamaica set a new world record with a time of 36.84 seconds. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, right, and Yohan Blake celebrate their win in the men's 4 x 100-meter relay during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. Jamaica set a new world record with a time of 36.84 seconds. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt takes the baton to lead in the men's 4 x 100-meter relay during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • Jamaica's Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt, Nesta Carter, and Michael Frater pose with their national flag after their gold medal win in the men's 4 x 100-meter relay during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. Jamaica set a new world record with a time of 36.84 seconds.(AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt prepares to pass United States' Ryan Bailey in the men's 4 x 100-meter relay during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. Jamaica set a new world record with a time of 36.84 seconds. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, right, and Jamaica's Yohan Blake celebrate winning gold and setting a new world record with a time of 36.84 seconds in the men's 4x100-meter relay final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, right, and Jamaica's Yohan Blake celebrate winning gold and setting a new world record with a time of 36.84 seconds in the men's 4x100-meter relay final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates winning the gold medal in front of the Olympic flame after the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, right, is surrounded by photographers after winning gold in the men's 200-meter during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates his gold medal win in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt kisses the track after winning the gold medal in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, center, is embraced by his mother Jennifer, center left, after he won gold in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates his gold medal win in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, left, hugs his teammate Yohan Blake after winning the gold medal in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt races to his gold medal finish in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, center, runs to win gold in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. Others runners are, from left, South Africa's Anaso Jobodwana, Jamaica's Warren Weir and United States' Wallace Spearmon. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates his gold medal win in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt runs to win gold in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt strikes his signature pose after his gold medal win in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt runs to win gold in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt runs to win gold in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, right, celebrates winning gold in the men's 200-meter final with spectators during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates winning gold in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt does a press up on the track after winning the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, center, Jamaica's Yohan Blake, left, and Jamaica's Warren Weir celebrate their medals in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. Bolt won gold, Blake silver and Weir bronze. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt reacts as he wins the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

  • Jamaica's Yohan Blake, left, celebrates winning silver with Jamaica's Usain Bolt, who won gold, following the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, left, gestures after crossing the finish line to win gold ahead of silver medallist Yohan Blake of Jamaica, center, and bronze medallist Warren Weir of Jamaica in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, third left, reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt second left, reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt wins the finals of the men's 200-meter in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt gestures as he crosses the finish line to win gold in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt gestures as he wins the finals of the men's 200-meter in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, foreground, crosses the finish line to win gold ahead of Jamaica's Yohan Blake in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt crosses the finish line to win the gold medal in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt gestures as he wins the finals of the men's 200-meter in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)


Having lost to Blake in the Jamaican Olympic Trials in both the 100 and 200, Bolt arrived in London with rumors swirling about his conditioning, health and dedication. Thus far, he has looked fully capable of defending the three gold medals he won in Beijing.

Running in the fourth heat, Blake also placed first in dominant fashion, posting a time of 20.38. After the seven preliminary heats were complete and the 24 competitors (three top finishers from each heat and the three fastest losers) were through, the fastest time of the day belonged to Alex Quinonez of Ecuador, who ran a 20.29.

"I'm feeling good. I've trained for this. That's why they call me 'The Beast,'" Blake told reporters after the conclusion of the preliminary heats. "The track is fast. Usain is really fast, but I'm in great shape. Anything is possible."

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The semifinals in the 200 meters will be run on Wednesday, with the final following on Thursday.

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