Watch: Justin Gatlin wins 200 meters in 19.75 at Olympic trials
EUGENE, Ore. — Justin Gatlin won the men’s 200 meters in 19.75 at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field on Saturday afternoon. Gatlin won the final in the men’s 100 meters last Sunday at the trials, finishing in 9.80 seconds.
In Friday’s semifinal, LaShawn Merritt ran the fastest time in the world this year with a personal best of 19.74. Merritt finished second in 19.79 on Saturday and plans to compete in the 200 and 400 meters at the Olympics. No American has won gold in both events since Michael Johnson pulled off the double at the 1996 Olympics. Allyson Felix has already qualified in the 400 meters and is expected to double on the women’s side.
Ameer Webb took third in 20.00 to claim the final spot for the Olympics.
The final also featured high school runners Michael Norman of Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, Calif., and Noah Lyles of TC Williams High School in Alexandria, Va. Norman finished in 20.21 in the first heat of the semifinal, ahead of Justin Gatlin, who finished in 20.23. Lyles followed it up with a 20.26 to win the next heat. Lyles finished fourth in the final, as he ran a U.S. high school record of 20.09. Norman finished fifth in 20.14.
An American has not won an Olympic gold in the men’s 200 meters since Shawn Crawford in 2004 in Athens. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt has won the past two Olympic gold medals.
At last summer’s world championships in Beijing, Gatlin took a silver medal in the 100 and 200 behind Bolt.
The American Olympic medal hopes for gold may have slightly improved when Bolt withdrew from the Jamaican national championships with a hamstring injury. Bolt is expected to compete on July 22 in London.