Gatlin zips by Gay in the 100 meters
Justin Gatlin flew out to a fast start and held off Tyson Gay to win the 100 meters in Sunday night’s US Olympic track trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist, finished in 9.80 seconds, beating Gay by 0.06 seconds.
Ryan Bailey was a surprise third-place finisher as he edged Mike Rodgers, Doc Patton, and injured Walter Dix (hamstring), the Olympic bronze medalist in Beijing.
Gay, the American record-holder in the event, proved he was back after missing almost a year as he recovered from a hip injury that required surgery.
“Bittersweet. I always like to win,’’ Gay said. “I came in second. But at the end of the day, it was about making the team. I got to make sure I turn this little bit of a frown into a happy face.’’
Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt ran the 400 meters in 44.12 seconds, best in the world this season, for a chance to defend his title in London.
Tony McQuay, winner at the NCAA championships earlier this month, was second in 44.49, and Bryshon Nellum was third in 44.80 to earn the other two spots.
Jeremy Wariner, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist before winning the silver in Beijing, finished sixth in 45.24.
On the women’s side of the 400, Sanya Richards-Ross tied a meet record (49.28) for a spot on the Olympic team. Richards-Ross also plans to run in the 200 in Friday’s trials.
Her mark in Sunday’s final tied Chandra Cheeseborough’s 1984 record.
Stephanie Brown Trafton won the discus with a throw of 213 feet, 10 inches for a chance to defend her gold medal. Aretha Thurmond was second at 204-2 for a spot on her fourth Olympic team.
American record-holder Suzy Powell-Roos finished third with a throw of 197-6, but she doesn’t have the Olympic “A’’ standard of 203-5 required to make the team. The third spot went to fifth-place finisher Gia Lewis-Smallwood, who has met the standard this season; her best throw Sunday was 192-10.
Jenn Suhr cleared 15 feet, 1 inch to win the women’s pole vault for a return trip to the Olympics. Suhr won the silver medal in Beijing, finishing behind Russian world record-holder Yelena Isinbayeva.
Marquise Goodwin, a senior wide receiver at the University of Texas, won the long jump with a personal-best distance of 27-4.
Reese Hoffa won the men’s shot put with a mark of 72-2 1/4.
US track and field officials say they have a procedure in place to break the third-place tie between Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh in the women’s 100 meters held Saturday.
The scenarios involve either a coin toss or a runoff to decide which athlete will earn the third and final spot. If both athletes choose the same option, it will determine the tiebreaker. If the athletes disagree, the tiebreaker will be a runoff. If both athletes decline a preference, the tiebreaker will be a coin toss.
Diving - In Federal Way, Wash., Brittany Viola, in her third attempt to make the Olympics, won the women’s 10-meter platform.
Viola dominated, winning by nearly 60 points ahead of Katie Bell, who claimed the other qualifying spot.
Earlier, Chris Colwill rallied from third place to win the men’s 3-meter springboard, while Troy Dumais held off Kristian Ipsen in the final round to finish second and reach his fourth Olympics in the event.