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USA serves notice: Seven world-leading performers at Olympic track trials

November 30,-0001 00:00

Gatlin was joined by a slew of fellow U.S. athletes rounding into form little more than one month away from the opening ceremonies of the Rio Games. Two-time Olympic medalist LaShawn Merritt ran a world-best 43.97 in the men's 400, propelling him into ...and more »

TOP TRENDINGEUGENE, Ore. — In perfect weather here on the campus of the University of Oregon, U.S. athletes have sent a message to competitors eyeing a track and field medal haul at the upcoming Summer Games: We’re shaping into form — and just in time for Rio.Just during Sunday’s Olympic trials, U.S. sprinters, jumpers and decathletes set worldwide season highs in their respective disciplines.One sprinter even set two new high-water marks: Justin Gatlin ran a 9.83 in the men’s 100 meters during semifinals and then a 9.80 in the final, securing a spot in the Rio Games and bettering the previous high of 9.86 held by France’s Jimmy Vicaut.Gatlin was joined by a slew of fellow U.S. athletes rounding into form little more than one month away from the opening ceremonies of the Rio Games.Two-time Olympic medalist LaShawn Merritt ran a world-best 43.97 in the men’s 400, propelling him into the field after a disappointing London Games; Merritt hurt his hamstring two weeks before the Games, leading to an early exit in the 400.There’s more: Jarrion Lawson (28 feet, 1 3/4 inches) set a new worldwide season best in the men’s long jump (his mark was wind legal, even though he finished second to Jeffrey Henderson's 28 feet, 2 1/4 inches, which was wind-aided); Allyson Felix (49.68 seconds) in the women’s 400; and Chaunté Lowe (6-7) in the women’s high jump.“To be honest with you, I’ve taken a completely different approach this year,” Lowe said. “I wanted to come out here and do my personal best.”On Saturday, Brittney Reese (23-11 3/4 inches) set the pace in the women’s long jump.Reigning gold medalist Ashton Eaton, one of America’s strongest medal contenders, posted the world’s best score in the decathlon with 8,750 points despite a sluggish start during the opening events held on Saturday.“My fitness is coming back a little bit,” said Eaton, who is recovering from a lingering quad injury and a tight hamstring.It’s about rising to the occasion, Gatlin said, adding, “I want to carry that for the next 30 days.”Replay1 of 202 of 203 of 204 of 205 of 206 of 207 of 208 of 209 of 2010 of 2011 of 2012 of 2013 of 2014 of 2015 of 2016 of 2017 of 2018 of 2019 of 2020 of 20AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow Captions

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