EUGENE, USA – The first round of the men’s and women’s 100m at USA’s Olympic Trials were fast on Saturday evening (July 2).
Justin Gatlin was easy in securing qualifying mark to the semis with 10.03 over Kendal Williams, 10.07 in heat one.
“My race was good. I took it easy. My coach said to work my drive phase, come out check where everyone is. Cross the finish line and get ready for the next day,” said Gatlin.
However, Trayvon Bromell, the world bronze medallist, 9.94secs, recorded the fastest time on the day. “It was crazy when it came up, but I’ve run 9.8 so I know what it takes to run that. I’ll get out there tomorrow and hope to do the same thing,” explained Bromell.
Christian Coleman, winner of heat four, was next best with 9.96 to beat Tyson Gay, 9.97.
Michael Rodgers won heat one in 10.00 over Isiah Young, 10.03. Ryan Bailey finished seventh in this heat, his time 10.36.
Rodgers said: “I just took it easy. There was a lot of movement in the blocks and stuff like that so I just had to refocus and run my own race.” John Teeters was heat five winner in 10.00.
On the women’s side, Jenna Prandini, in heat four, ran the fastest time of 10.81 to beat Joanna Atkins and Alex Anderson, both 10.99.
“It is pretty exciting. It just shows that my training is right where it needs to be and if I can just stay focused and stay relaxed and keep getting through the rounds, I should be happy,” commented Prandini.
English Gardner topped heat one in 10.90 ahead of Tawanna Meadows, 11.13.
“Things have been going well for me in training, spiritually, mentally, physically. I’m so fit right now,” explained Gardner.”
“When we get to the final, hopefully Tori and I can give you the best show of your life,” she added.
Tori Bowie was the third fastest on the day with 10.91 to win heat 5 ahead of Barbara Pierre, 11.07. “Today was just about getting to the next round tomorrow. I came out and executed the first 60 and go to my technique from there,” Bowie said.
Morolake Akinosum finished atop heat 3 with 10.99, to beat Ariana Washington, 11.01, while Tianna Bartoletta was heat three winner in 11.03.
Meanwhile, Brittney Reese produced the world’s best jump since 2004 with victory in the long jump on the second day of the US Olympic Trials with 7.31m to make her the firm favourite for Rio where she will defend her title.
Reese commented: “I thought it was around 7.20-something, but I knew yesterday when I jumped 7 meters easily, I knew that today would be special, and I proved myself to be right.”
Ashton Eaton leads the decathlon with 4560 ahead of Jeremy Taiwo (4478) who produced a standout performance of 2.21m in the high jump.
In the 400m semi-finals, LaShawn Merritt won the second semi-final in 45.05. Former Olympic winner, Jeremy Wariner, was a non finisher.
Francena McCorory clocked 50.28 ahead of Allyson Felix (50.31) in the women’s 400m semi-final with Courtney Okolo the other semi-final winner (50.37).