The 2013 world 100m hurdles champion secured her Olympic place for Rio, but American record-holder Keni Harrison missed out
With such a stacked field for the 100m hurdles final, some of the top athletes were always going to be left off the US team for the Olympic Games in Rio. At the US Championships on Friday (July 8), Brianna Rollins stormed to victory in 12.34 to just miss Gail Devers’ meet record of 12.33 set in 2000, while American record-holder Keni Harrison was among those to miss out.
The 2013 world champion Rollins, who had previously held the American record with 12.26 before Harrison bettered that mark with 12.24 at the Prefontaine Classic in May, will be joined in Rio by fellow Olympic debutantes Kristi Castlin and Nia Ali after they clocked a 12.50 PB and 12.55 for second and third respectively.
“When I got to the finish line and realised I was the first one to cross, I was so overwhelmed and so excited,” said Rollins. “I was finally able to relax and start to prepare myself for the road to Rio.”
Harrison, who sits second on the all-time list behind Yordanka Donkova who ran 12.21 in 1988, was sixth in 12.62 and later said: “I don’t know what happened. I’ll have to watch the film. I’m a loss to explain it, but this stuff happens in the hurdles.
“We’ve got a great group of girls representing the US in Rio. I’ll go back home and prepare for the Diamond League meet in London.”
Queen Harrison finished fourth in 12.57, Sharika Nelvis fifth in 12.60 and Jackie Coward seventh in 12.75, with the times for second place through to seventh the fastest ever in US trials history. It is also the first time that seven athletes have run 12.75 or quicker in the same 100m hurdles race at any national championships. Beijing Olympic champion and 2012 silver medallist Dawn Harper-Nelson missed out on making the final by .01.
Over in the men’s 3000m steeplechase and American record-holder and defending Olympic trials champion Evan Jager ran 8:22.48 to retain his title, while Hillary Bor clocked 8:24.10 in second ahead of Donn Cabral with 8:26.37.
In fourth and fifth behind Stanley Kebenei and Andrew Bayer at the bell, Cabral and Bor took advantage when Bayer stumbled and Kebenei fell at the final water jump. While Bayer finished fourth in 8:28.59, Kebenei finished back in 13th.
The other final on Friday was the men’s discus and that was won by Mason Finley, who threw 63.42m in the second round to beat Tavis Bailey and Andrew Evans with 61.57m and 61.22m respectively, both from their first throws. All three will make their Olympic debuts in Rio.
Fresh from his 400m win in a world-leading time on Sunday, LaShawn Merritt clocked another world lead, this time 19.74 in the 200m semi-finals for the second fastest time in US trials history behind the meet record of 19.66 set by Michael Johnson in 1996.
Behind him, Ameer Webb ran 19.97, while Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin were also among those to progress to the final.
Jenna Prandini went quickest in the 200m heats with 22.72 (-2.0). Tori Bowie was another heat winner with 22.72 (+2.2), while Allyson Felix, who won the 400m title on Sunday, also cruised to a comfortable 22.93 (-0.3) heat win.
World 400m hurdles silver medallist Shamier Little just missed out on the 400m hurdles final, clocking 55.64 for fifth in her semi-final with the top four automatically qualifying. Dalilah Muhammad went quickest in the semi-finals with 54.14, while 16-year-old Sydney McLaughlin won the first semi-final in 55.23.
Michael Tinsley ran 49.15 and Johnny Dutch 49.20 to win the two men’s 400m hurdles semi-finals.
Ben Blankenship, Matthew Centrowitz, Jenny Simpson and Shannon Rowbury were among those to advance to the 1500m finals, while Jenn Suhr booked her place in the pole vault final but Demi Payne did not.
Erik Kynard progressed to the men’s high jump final, but Jesse Williams failed to record a mark.
Full results can be found here.