EUGENE, Oregon – Two-time Olympic silver medallist Allyson Felix ran the sixth fastest 200 meters of all time as she won the US Olympic trials in a blazing 21.69 seconds Saturday.
The performance, the fastest in the half-lap event in 14 years, set Felix up for a London showdown with Jamaican Olympic Veronica Campbell-Brown, who has defeated the American in the last two Games. “I feel like everything came together. I felt like I executed today and ran a great curve, which is something I’ve been working on,” Felix said.
World and trials 100 meters champion Carmelita Jeter finished almost a half second behind Felix in 22.11 seconds.
Sanya Richards-Ross, the trials’ 400m winner, also made the US team in a second event by finishing third in 22.22. But Felix’s training partner Jeneba Tarmoh missed a spot on the team in the 200 with a fifth place finish in 22.35.
The sparkling race came minutes after world indoor hurdles champion Aries Merritt had cruised to the year’s fastest 110 meters high hurdles in a lifetime best 12.93 seconds despite wet conditions.
Merritt became the 14th hurdler to break the 13-second barrier but remains behind the world record of 12.87 set by Cuban rival Dayron Robles.
World champion Jason Richardson, who had broken 13 seconds for the first time in the semi-finals, was second in 12.98 while Jeff Porter claimed a surprising third in 13.08.
Ailing American record holder and Olympic medallist David Oliver missed out on a trip to London when he finished fifth, running 13.17. Felix, Tarmoh and Kersee said no decision had been made on how the two would decide their controversial third-place tie in the 100 meters. World triple jump champion Christian Taylor showed he was ready to claim gold in London with the best mark in the world this season, 17.63 meters.
Global indoor winner Will Claye also looked like a medal contender as he bounded 17.55 meters.
Olympic silver medallist Hyleas Fountain dominated the heptathlon with 6,419 points. Sharon Day and Chantae McMillan also booked trips to London.
In the women’s high jump, indoor champion Chaunte Lowe did not allow the rain to slow her.
Lowe cleared an impressive 2.01 meters to win on misses over collegian Brigetta Barrett, who mastered the same height.
The 36-year-old Amy Acuff made her fifth US Olympic team by coming out of a two-year retirement to place third at 1.95 mete0rs.
Dutch make it a double
Churandy Martina and Patrick Van Luijk made it a night to remember for Dutch sprinting when they claimed gold and silver in the 200 meters at the European Championships in Helsinki Saturday.
The Curacao-born Martina romped home in a time of 20.42 seconds to claim his first European title, with Van Luijk beating Britain’s Daniel Talbot to take silver.
It was also a good day on the track for Ukraine, as it claimed three of the top four places in the women’s 200, with gold going to Mariya Ryemyen and silver to Hrystyna Stuy.
The tight bends of the Helsinki track claimed another high-profile victim when Great Britain women’s 4x100 relay team was disqualified in their heat for stepping out of their lane.
The British team will now miss the London 2012 Olympics.
Polat Kemboi Arikan of Turkey claimed the day’s big distance medal, winning the men’s 10,000 by less than half a second from Italy’s Daniele Meucci. — Agencies