U.S. ready to end 100m drought, enjoy big medal haul

Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:54am EDT
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By Gene Cherry

EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) - A strong and hungry group of U.S. sprinters is ready to end a long American drought.

The once dominant country has not won a global title in the 100 meters since 2007, but that could change at the IAAF world championships in Beijing in August.

Led by year's fastest man Justin Gatlin, the U.S. squad finalised at the weekend's American trials is loaded with talent to challenge the world.

"The U.S. team will be the strongest for some years," internationally recognized athletics expert Mel Watman told Reuters when asked to assess the overall strength of the American team.

"At the 2013 worlds the U.S. won only six gold medals but in Beijing I wouldn't be surprised if your athletes won double that number."

Along with Gatlin, former world champion Tyson Gay, the last U.S. sprinter to hold a global title, promising teenager Trayvon Bromell and veteran Mike Rodgers, all will be in the 100m at Beijing.

"I think a lot of (U.S.) sprinters are waking up and understanding that it's time to fight back," said Gatlin, who had a bye in the 100m at the trials but ran a scorching 19.57 seconds in the 200m.

Only four men have ever run faster.   Continued...