Felix captures women’s 200 meters at track trials
EUGENE, Ore. – Allyson Felix might be grabbing all the attention at the U.S. Olympic trials. She isn’t the only one peaking there, however.
Moments before Felix won the 200-meter sprint in a personal-best 21.69 seconds Saturday night, Aries Merritt also notched his lowest mark, winning the men’s 110 hurdles in a world-best 12.93 to earn his spot in London.
Wearing bright yellow socks that blurred with each stride, Felix finished well ahead of Carmelita Jeter in 22.11 and Sanya Richards-Ross in 22.22.
In the 110 hurdles, Jason Richardson, the reigning world champion, was second in 12.98 and Jeffrey Porter finished third in 13.08 to round out the U.S. team.
The seventh day of the Olympic trials at Hayward Field started with Trevor Barron’s American record of 1 hour, 23 minutes in the 20,000-meter race walk.
But still hanging over the event was last weekend’s third-place tie in the women’s 100, and it put all the attention on the 200.
Felix and training partner Jeneba Tarmoh finished in a dead heat that caught U.S. track officials off-guard with no policy in place to resolve it.
USA track and field announced a tiebreaking procedure the next day, but Bobby Kersee, coach of both women, said he wanted to wait until after the 200 to decide how to break the tie, either by a runoff, coin flip, or if one athlete concedes.
A decision was expected this morning, the final day of the trials.
Because the top three finishers in each event make the Olympic team, USATF wanted the issue resolved by tonight. But the U.S. Olympic Committee has a Tuesday deadline for naming the team.
Tarmoh finished fifth in the 200, the day’s final competition.
With the tiebreaker debacle as a backdrop, Felix never looked back to check the competition. She didn’t need to: Her broad smile at the finish showed that she was well aware of what she’d done.
In other highlights, Chaunte Lowe earned her fifth national outdoor title by leaping 6 feet, 7 inches in the high jump.
Brigetta Barrett finished second after successfully clearing 6-7, a personal best, and veteran Amy Acuff was third with a jump of 6-4 3/4 for the other two spots on the team for the London Games. It will be Acuff’s fifth Olympics.
Lowe broke the meet record of 6-6 1/2 set by Louise Ritter in 1988.
Hyleas Fountain won her fifth national title in the heptathlon, finishing with 6,419 points. Sharon Day was second with 6,343 points and Chante McMillan finished third with 6,188.
Reigning world champion Christian Taylor won the triple jump with a leap of 57-10 1/4. Former Florida teammate Will Claye, who finished third at the world championships last year, also earned a spot on the team as the runner-up at 57-7.
Richardson set the tone in the 110 hurdles by running his semifinal in 12.98, just off of the previous world-best time this year of 12.97 that China’s Liu Xiang ran in May.
But Merritt, arms akimbo, pushed at the finish in the final for the win over Richardson.
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