Allyson Felix blazes to 200m victory at US Olympic trials
Two-time Olympic runner-up Allyson Felix ran the sixth-fastest women’s 200 metres in history, as she breezed to victory in the US Olympic Track and Field Trials.
Felix, embroiled in controversy over a deadlock for the final 100m Olympic spot, served notice she will be a gold favorite in London by surging to the lead quickly and leaving behind a world-class field to set a personal best of 21.69 seconds.
Only doping-disgraced Marion Jones, Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey and the late world record-holder Florence Griffth-Joyner have ever run faster than Felix did to ensure she would reach the London Olympics.
“I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet,” Felix said. “For so long I have looked at those times and wanted to be on that list. But the job is not done. It’s all about London.”
It was the fastest time clocked in the event since Jones went 21.62 in 1998 in South Africa.
“It’s very rare for me to come off the corner in the lead,” Felix said. “There were so many strong people in the race you could never be comfortable. I just dug deep and tried to keep going. I was thrilled with my race. Everything came together at the right time.”
Carmelita Jeter, the reigning world 100m champion and 2011 world 200m runner-up, was second in 22.11 with Sanya Richards-Ross third in 22.22 to claim the other two Olympic berths on offer.
Jeter will go for a 100-200 double in her first Olympics, a choice she only made after winning the 100 last weekend. But Felix will have to wait to see if she will do the same. She and training partner Jeneba Tarmoh shared third in a 100m dead-heat last weekend.
Tarmoh missed out on an Olympics spot in the 200m, finishing fifth, and will now discuss what happens next with Felix and their coach Bob Kersee. He wants no coin flip and no run-off, as has been mooted.
Meanwhile, Richards-Ross will attempt a 200-400m double in London.
“I’m excited,” she said. “I wanted to be part of this team in two events. They didn’t make it easy for me, but I’m glad I made it.”
Aries Merritt ran the best time in the world this year to win the 110m hurdles final in 12.93 seconds, lowering the 2012 best that had bel-onged to China’s Liu Xiang at 12.97.
“To break 13 in the final like I did was just phenomenal,” he said.
Hyleas Fountain won the heptathlon with 6,419 points and Christian Taylor the triple jump with a 2012 world-best of 17.63m.