Gatlin cruises in heats with Felix claiming 400m title

Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:34pm EDT
 
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By Gene Cherry

EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) - Justin Gatlin moved closer to a world sprint double and Allyson Felix broke through to win a stirring women's 400 meters at the U.S. trials for the world championships on Saturday.

Gatlin cruised through the 200 meters preliminaries in 19.92 seconds to move into Sunday's semi-finals and finals and a chance to face world record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica in both the 200 and 100 at the worlds in Beijing in August.

He has a bye for Beijing in the 100 and did not run the event in Eugene.

But talk quickly turned to that race, where the U.S. will send a team of Gatlin, Tyson Gay, Trayvon Bromell and Mike Rodgers to the world championships.

"It is going to be hard to beat those guys," Gatlin said, knowing Bolt has not been at his best this year.

Olympic 200m champion Felix has a decision to make after running down Nastasha Hastings to win the U.S. 400 title in 50.19 seconds.

Hastings took second 50.25 and Phyllis Francis third in 50.67.

Francena McCoroy, the year's fastest in the event, finished fourth in 50.88 and will miss the team unless Felix decides to run the 200 at the world championships.   Continued...

 
Justin Gatlin from the U.S. reacts after winning the men's 100 meters event during the Diamond League meeting in Doha, Qatar May 15, 2015.  REUTERS/AK Bijuraj/Files