Team USA disqualified in the 4x100m relays at the World Championships in Beijing

Former Olympic Champion Justin Gatlin has not written off his chances of getting to the podium at the forthcoming London World Championships after clocking his first sub-10 of the season, storming to a Season’s Best (SB) of 9.95s to retain his national crown at the Hornet Stadium in Sacramento on Saturday.

The 34-year old maintained his unbeaten run at the championships, winning his races in the preliminary rounds and semis where he clocked a time of 10.04s to finish ahead of Mike Rodgers (10.19s), Isiah Young (10.20s) and Christopher Belcher (10.22s).

The final was expected to be a battle of superiority between Gatlin and 21-year old Christian Coleman, the recently crowned NCAA double sprint champion who had also maintained a winning streak at the ongoing US Track and Field Championships.

However, experience took the day as Gatlin pipped the World Leader to claim the title, while Coleman followed in a time of 9.98s. Christopher Belcher was 3rd in 10.06 and Jaylen Bacon 4th with a time of 10.10s. Beejay Lee (10.11s) and Mike Rodgers (10.17s) placed 5th and 6th respectively.

Championship favourite Tori Bowie secured the women’s title in a time of 10.94s, finishing ahead of Deajah Stevens (11.08s) and Ariana Washington (11.10s). Rio 4x100m GOLD medallist Morolake Akinosun would have to settle for a spot in the relay pool once more after placing 4th in 11.12s.

19-year old Vashti Cunningham claimed her first outdoor High Jump title with a Personal Best (outdoor) of 1.99m, with Liz Patterson and Inika Mcpherson both following with clearances of 1.91m.

Will Claye won the men’s Triple Jump title with a PB of 17.91m to finish ahead of Chris Benard (17.48m) and Donald Scott (17.25m).

The men’s 400m final will be decided later in the day. The finalists include Fred Kerley (44.11m), Gil Roberts (44.33m), Michael Norman Jr (44.60m) and Tony McQuay (44.82m) from semifinal 1. Michael Cherry won semifinal 2 in 45.05s, and will be joined by other finalists Bryshon Nellum (45.05s), Kyle Collins (45.10s) and Wil London III (45.11s).

Nathan Strother (45.25s) and Paul Dedewo (45.39s) missed out on the final after finishing 5th and 6th respectively in semifinal 2.

Phyllis Francis topped the list of qualifiers for the women’s 400m final after winning semifinal 1 with the overall fastest time of 50.20s. Kendall Ellis (50.24s), Daina Harper (50.71s) and Jessica Beard (51.27s) placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively.

Shakima Wimbley won semis 2 in 50.53s, and was followed by Quanera Hayes (50.74s), Natasha Hastings (51.09s), Courtney Okolo (51.42s).

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.

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