Merritt romps to fast 200 meters, Rollins shocks in hurdles

Fri Jul 8, 2016 11:22pm EDT
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By Gene Cherry

EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) - LaShawn Merritt ran the fastest 200 meters in the world this year and Brianna Rollins shocked American record holder Keni Harrison in a world class 100m hurdles final at the U.S. Olympic trials on Friday.

Merritt, already on the U.S. team as the trials' 400m winner, sped through his semi-final in 19.74 seconds to set the stage for a Saturday showdown with world silver medalist Justin Gatlin, up-and-coming Ameer Webb and two teenagers.

A celebrating Rollins dominated the hurdles showdown, winning in 12.34 seconds as a stunned Harrison finished sixth to miss a trip to Rio.

Olympic champions Allyson Felix and Aries Merritt, meanwhile, moved safely through qualifying in the 200 meters and 110 hurdles respectively on the often rainy day.

LaShawn Merritt would not say whether he, like Felix, would try for the 200-400m double in Rio.

But he appeared ready if he makes the team in the 200.

"I got some rest and went to work," said the 2008 400m Olympic gold medalist who holds the fastest times in the world this year in the 200 and 400.

Webb also dipped under 20 seconds (19.97 seconds) with former world champion Tyson Gay (20.16) and teenager Michael Norman (20.21) ahead of Gatlin (20.23). Another teen, Noah Lyles (20.26), trailed Gatlin.   Continued...

zJul 8, 2016; Eugene, OR, USA; Brianna Rollins (center) and Kristi Castlin (right) and Queen Harrison (left) finish first, third, and fourth respectively the 2016 U.S. Olympic track and field team trials at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports