Athletics

Gatlin stuns Coleman at US trials

Justin Gatlin (Getty Images)
Justin Gatlin (Getty Images)

Sacramento - Justin Gatlin stormed to victory in the 100m at the US world championship trials on Friday, upstaging rising star Christian Coleman and setting up the prospect of one final duel with Usain Bolt.

The 35-year-old Gatlin turned on the gas in the final 20 meters at Sacramento's Hornet Stadium to reel in Coleman for a convincing win in 9.95.

"It was just a fighting moment," Gatlin said of his victory.

"It wasn't the spectacular time that you've seen me run in the past couple of years. But it was a time that I needed to fight.

"I had to make sure I was right there with him at the end and try and hold on with experience."

Coleman, 21, had been tipped as the likeliest US rival to Bolt at August's World Championships after clocking the fastest time in the world this year, a blistering 9.82.

But Coleman - who hours earlier had inked a seven-figure sponsorship deal with Nike - was put firmly in his place by the veteran Gatlin, finishing in 9.98. Christopher Belcher was third in 10.06.

Asked if he felt Gatlin still 'had it', Coleman replied: "He never lost it!"

"I was just honored to be in the race and I'm looking forward to many more," Coleman said.

Gatlin meanwhile was left delighted after clinching his ticket to London -- and another potential showdown with Bolt.

"It feels great," said Gatlin, who has registered only one victory over Bolt in his career.

In the women's 100m, Tori Bowie swept to a comfortable win in 10.94 ahead of Deajah Stevens and Ariana Washington. Allyson Felix, the reigning world 400m champion, finished in last place.

Meanwhile in the men's triple jump, reigning Olympic and world champion Christian Taylor - who only needed to turn up in Sacramento this week to cash in a wildcard place - intentionally fouled on his only leap of the competition.

Taylor, who is based in the Netherlands, defended his decision not to effectively compete.

"It's unfortunate," Taylor said. "Every time I want to come out to the track I want to compete and put on a show. But this time I have to be smart. I have to focus on being healthy."

In the women's high jump, teenager Vashti Cunningham, the world indoor champion and daughter of former NFL star Randall Cunningham, posted a jump of 1.99m to win and clinch her place in London.

In the opening heats of the women's 100m hurdles, world record holder Keni Harrison impressed with 12.54, the fastest time in the world this season.

The 24-year-old is desperate to make up for the bitter disappointment of last year, when she missed out on the Olympics after finishing sixth at the trials in Oregon.

Friday was Harrison's first race since breaking her hand at a meeting in Doha last month.

"I wanted to come out here and put a good number down," said Harrison, who ran with a metal pin in her left hand.

A few weeks after missing out on a place to Rio last year, Harrison smashed Yordanka Donkova's 28-year-old world record, clocking 12.20 at a meeting in London.

American women have achieved remarkable dominance in the 100m hurdles in recent years and in 2016 completed a clean sweep of medals in Rio.

Brianna Rollins, the gold medallist in Rio, is not competing in Sacramento following a one-year ban for missing three drug tests.

Selected results from US World Championship trials at Hornet Stadium, Sacramento on Friday:

Men

100m

Final

1. Justin Gatlin 9.95

2. Christian Coleman 9.98

3. Christopher Belcher 10.06

4. Jaylen Bacon 10.10

5. Beejay Lee 10.11

6. Mike Rodgers 10.17

7. Cameron Burrell 10.19

8. Isiah Young 10.25

5 000m

1. Paul Chelimo 13min 08.62sec

2. Eric Jenkins 13:15.74

3. Ryan Hill 13:16.99

4. Ben True 13:17.94

5. Lopez Lomong 13:21.74

6. Thomas Curtin 13:29.64

7. Trevor Dunbar 13:30.89

8. Reid Buchanan 13:31.40

9. Riley Masters 13:40.14

10. Emmanuel Bor 13:45.26

Triple jump

Final

1. Will Claye 17.91

2. Chris Benard 17.48

3. Donald Scott 17.25

4. Matthew O'Neal 17.05

5. Omar Craddock 16.78

6. Joshua Honeycutt 16.52

7. Brandon Roulhac 16.37

8. Michael Tiller 16.23

...

Withdrew: Christian Taylor (fouled)

Women

100m

Final

1. Tori Bowie 10.94

2. Deajah Stevens 11.08

3. Ariana Washington 11.10

4. Morolake Akinosun 11.12

5. Aaliyah Brown 11.15

6. English Gardner 11.16

7. Aleia Hobbs 11.23

8. Allyson Felix 11.28

5 000m

Final

1. Shelby Houlihan 15min 13.87sec

2. Shannon Rowbury 15:14.08

3. Molly Huddle 15:15.29

4. Karissa Schweizer 15:18.69

5. Marielle Hall 15:19.56

6. Lauren Paquette 15:25.06

7. Vanessa Fraser 15:25.48

8. Sarah Pagano 15:26.04

9. Nicole Tully 15:27.14

10. Sara Sutherland 15:29.98

High jump

Final

1. Vashti Cunningham 1.99m

2. Liz Patterson 1.91

3. Inika McPherson 1.91

4. Brigetta Barrett 1.88

5. Michelle Spires 1.85

6. Amina Smith 1.85

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