[REAL VERSION] London 2012

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Full coverage on NBC through August 12

Chicago's Spearmon Qualifies for Finals

Wallace Spearmon Jr. runs 20.02 seconds to qualify for finals

By Lauren Jiggetts
|  Wednesday, Aug 8, 2012  |  Updated 5:17 PM CDT
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Chicagoan Hopes for Hometown Support in London

Wallace Spearmon Jr., a native Chicagoan, is a favorite in the 200 meter dash. He talks of his motivation in his quest for the gold.
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Chicago native Wallace Spearmon Jr. sped through Wednesday's semi-finals to face two of Jamaica's biggest powerhouses in the medal round.

The Chicago-born track-and-field star finished second Wednesday with a time of 20.02 seconds in the 200-meter sprint quarter-finals. Track star Yohan Blake finished first in his heat.

Spearmon was one of only eight men to qualify for the finals of one of the most-watched events on the Olympic track.

Qualifying in the second heat was Usain Bolt at 20.18 seconds, a time beaten by Spearmon in his own heat.

Spearmon now faces off against Bolt and Blake in Thursday's finals. He told NBC Chicago he knows he'll have to unearth extra speed to medal in this event. 

"Definitely sub-20, definitely something spectacular," he said.

He certainly has the motivation to do it. Spearmon finished third in the 2008 Olympics but was later disqualified for stepping out of his lane. He earned his ticket to London in July with 19.83 seconds to win the men's 200-meter race.

On Tuesday he blazed his way the quarter-finals, sprinting 20.47 seconds to qualify. From there he has another shot at the Olympic medal he lost four years ago.

"I think so," Spearmon told NBC Chicago Tuesday when asked if he's ready. "I like to think that I am."

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