Eugene, Oregon, USATyson Gay ran the fastest 100m in history to win the final of the U.S. Olympic Trials 100 by more than a metre from Walter Dix, with Darvis Patton edging Travis Padgett for the third spot on what would appear to be a formidable threesome to face Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell in Beijing in August.
Gay conclusively demonstrated that right now he is the fastest American not on wheels when he ran away from a great field to cross the line in 9.68. Yes, it was wind-aided – very wind-aided at 4.1 metres/second -- but nobody who saw it could doubt that Gay, the World champion is ready to defend his position as the world’s number one sprinter this Olympic summer.
The previous all-time-under-any-conditions mark was the 9.69 run by Obadele Thompson in April 1996 in El Paso, Texas where the aiding wind was 5m/s.
"Jon Drummond (coach) said I was capable of running 9.6, so that's what I had in my mind,” said Gay. “I'm glad my body went that fast. It's a pretty good feeling and I hope I'm ready for the 200 metres.”
"I just tried to stay relaxed and run through the finish line. I just wanted to make the team, but I can tell when the wind started to pick up when I got into the blocks. I've been running track long enough to know when the wind is going to be over 2.0."
Behind him Dix was timed in 9.80, Patton in 9.84 and Padgett in 9.85.
In the semi-final stage Gay came home in 9.85 (+2.2m/s), while Patton won the other semi in 10.04 (+0.5m/s).
Phillips and Mack will not defend in Beijing
Olympic team berths were determined in a number of other events today. Most notable was the elimination of 2004 Olympic men’s Long Jump champion Dwight Phillips by virtual unknown Trevell Quinley, who won the event with a last-round personal best of 8.36m (+1.6), leaving Brian Johnson (8.30) and Miguel Pate (8.22) in the dust but still on the U.S. team, and Phillips, at 8.20, just in the dust.
"I just had to shake the cobwebs off during the first couple of jumps and I was able to relax a little bit after the second jump, but then I had two fouls and then made the fifth jump and put some pressure on the guys," said Quinley. "Really, I have never been so scared though after that fifth jump because you have the former Olympic champion and you can never count him out."
Consistent Derek Miles won the Pole Vault at 5.80m over Jeff Hartwig (5.70) and World Champion Brad Walker (5.65). 2004 gold medallist Tim Mack could clear only 5.50 and 2004 silver medallist Toby Stevenson no-heighted at 5.50. For Hartwig, who failed to clear any height in the 2000 and 2004 Trials, it was a signal accomplishment.
Jackson, Clement, Taylor for Beijing
200 World champion Bershawn Jackson won the men’s 400m Hurdles in 48.17, ahead of reigning World title holder Kerron Clement (48.36) and 2000 Olympic champion Angelo Taylor (48.42). Just missing out were Justin Gaymon in 48.46 and junior Johnny Dutch, whose 48.52 makes him the third fastest world junior ever.
The women's Triple Jump saw two-time defending US champion Shani Marks win with a 14.38m (+1.4m/s) performance, with Shakeema Welsch second with 14.27m (+3.5mps) and 2005 USA champion Erica McClain was third with 13.96m (+0.4mps). Only Marks and McClain will represent the USA at the Olympics, as Welsch doesn’t hold the ‘A’ standard with a legal wind.
The women’s 400 Hurdles saw the elimination of favourite Lashinda Demus, who finished fourth in 54.76 sec behind Tiffany Ross-Williams’ winning 54.03, Queen Harrison’s 54.60 and Sheena Tosta’s 54.62.
Three-time champion Aretha Thurmond out last year on maternity leave won the women’s Discus Throw decisively with a second-round toss of 65.20m. American record holder Suzy Powell-Roos was second (62.92m) and Stephanie Brown Trafton was third (62.65m) and will join her in Beijing.
Wariner and Merritt go through with ease
LaShawn Merritt was the fastest of the 400m quarter finalists (45.30) winning heat 1, with World and Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner the winner of the second race (46.04).
Merritt was followed home by LeJerald Betters (45.46), Greg Nixon (45.74) and Miles Smith (45.77) in what was a high quality outing.
Other heat winners were Lionel Larry (3rd ht - 45.89) and Quentin Iglehart-Summers (4th ht 45.87).
Decathlon: Clay leads after tight first day
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James Dunaway for the IAAF
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