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Bolt irked after jumping gun; Blake wins 100, rival DQs; Suhr advances in pole vault

DAEGU, South Korea -- Still fuming from his false start that knocked him from the 100-meter final, Usain Bolt crouched slightly on the line and waited. Then he zipped into the darkness of a deserted practice track.

There, only a short hike from the main stadium, he didn't have to worry about jumping the gun.

Bolt missed out on defending his title Sunday when he jumped from the blocks early at the world championships. He was disqualified by a highly debated zero-tolerance false start rule enacted last year.

"He's human, isn't he? I always knew he was human," said his coach, Glen Mills. "He will pick himself up. He's a champion."

In the women's pole vault, meanwhile, Fredonia native Jenn Suhr was one of 14 vaulters to qualify for Tuesday's final. Suhr missed on her first two attempts at 4.50 meters before clearing it on her third try. She then cleared 4.55 meters on her first attempt and will be a strong medal favorite on Tuesday.

"[I] made it a little more dramatic than I wanted in today's qualifying round, but now I am looking forward to the final," Suhr wrote on her Facebook page.

Bolt knew instantly of his error. Soon after the gun went off, soon after taking just a few steps out of the blocks, another gun blasted -- the knot-in-your-stomach sound for any sprinter.

Bolt's eyes grew big. He pulled his shirt over his face, then ripped it off and whipped it around in his hand. Grudgingly, Bolt left the stage he has dominated since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Instead, it was left to another Jamaican to wrap himself in the country's flag -- Yohan Blake, a 21-year-old up-and-comer that former Olympic gold medalist Maurice Greene predicted to win.

Blake finished in a modest time of 9.92 seconds, 0.16 seconds ahead of American rival Walter Dix. Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis, the 2003 world champion and now an aging 35-year-old veteran, was third.

"Definitely, I wasn't focusing on beating Usain," Blake said. "I was just focusing on finishing in the top three."

This was also a day that Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee sprinter known as the "Blade Runner," showed he indeed belongs on the same track with able-bodied athletes at big meets. Springing along on his carbon-fiber blades, Pistorius advanced to the semifinals of the 400.

"A big sense of relief," he said.

On the track, it was a big show for the Americans. Defending champion Trey Hardee and Ashton Eaton gave the U.S. its first 1-2 decathlon finish at the worlds. Brittney Reese defended her long jump title, and Allyson Felix breezed into the finals of the 400 with an easy win in her heat.

This entire competition was setting up as a stroll for Bolt. Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell withdrew just before the event began because of a groin injury, and American rival Tyson Gay was out with a hip injury. As if to underscore how easy this might be, Bolt cruised through his previous two rounds.

Then he false started. It wasn't even close. He's 6-foot-5 and it's clear when he stands up in the blocks too soon.

His night done, Bolt gathered his stuff, slung his backpack over his shoulder and headed down the tunnel that leads out of the stadium. He wouldn't talk, glaring at anyone who got too close or tried to ask any sort of question as he walked up a path. He went through a fenced gate that leads to the warmup track, typically off limits to all but the competitors.

Once there, he joined a group of friends and coaches, throwing down his backpack, taking a swig of water, dumping some on his head and tossing the bottle aside. He sat down briefly before jumping up and heading onto the track.

Bolt lined up in Lane 6 -- one spot from his lane assignment in the final -- waited a second to compose his thoughts and took off down the runway with just a few eyes watching him. He traveled about 100 meters, turned around, jogged back and went again.

After his cool-down, some encouraging words from the Jamaican contingent and a quick massage, Bolt trudged across a grass field to catch a ride. Before he could reach the safety of his car, though, he was met by a few reporters.

"Looking for tears? Not going to happen," said Bolt, his agitation beginning to subside. "I'm OK."

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