This California native, a two-time Olympian (2004, 2008) and member of the defending gold-medal 4x400-meter women's relay team, announced she will run the 100 and 200 at the U.S. trials. Along with her relay gold from Beijing, the 26-year-old USC product has won the silver in the 200 in the two previous Games.
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Already a two-time Olympic medalist for Kenya in the 1,500 meters, the 37-year-old Lagat became a naturalized American citizen in 2004, but fell short of the podium in Beijing for his new country. In 2012, with a new focus on the 5,000 and medals in the event at the most recent world championships, Lagat again has an Olympic long-distance medal in sight.
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A Gulfport, Miss. resident, Reese is a two-time NCAA long jump champion from Ole Miss, and a four-time world champion. In 2012, the 26-year-old hopes to make the U.S. team and improve upon her fifth-place finish from 2008.
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The reigning Olympic champion in the decathlon and the silver medalist at Athens in 2004, Clay now has his sights set on London. If he succeeds and again ends with a podium finish, the 32-year-old California resident will become the only decathlete to ever win three Olympic medals.
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After failing to qualify for the 2008 Games in Beijing, the 32-year-old Jeter will try to make her first Olympics at this year's trials. With a 100-meter world championship victory over her rivals in May, she has her sights set on gold and the title of the world's fastest women.
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After medaling in the 400 meters in consecutive Olympics (he won gold in 2004, silver in 2008), the 28-year-old Texan will try to get back on top in a field of mostly American hopefuls. A second-place finish to rival LaShawn Merritt in Beijing -- the two run together on the two-time defending gold-medal 4x400 men's relay team -- puts Wariner's event dominance into question, but it should make for an intriguing quarter mile in London ... if they both make it there.
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Consistently ranked in the world's top 10, the 29-year-old high jumper out of North Carolina will try to propel his 6-foot, 155-pound frame even higher in 2012 after missing the finals in Beijing. Following a gold-medal performance at the 2011 world outdoor championships -- the first American to accomplish the feat in two decades -- Williams appears to be the favorite in the event in 2012.
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The reigning 110-meter hurdle world champion, Richardson, 26, ran for the South Carolina Gamecocks and graduated with a degree in sports management in 2009. Under the guidance of coach John Smith (who also coaches female speedster Carmelita Jeter), Richardson should make his Olympic debut at the 2012 Games in London and be a real threat to take gold.
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Banned from competing in the 2008 Games in Beijing because of a second positive test for doping, Gatlin returns to the track looking to recapture the form that earned him a 100-meter gold medal in 2004. Like Tyson Gay and Walter Dix, the 30-year-old Gatlin is one of the few sprinters with a legitimate chance of competing with Jamaica's Usain Bolt in both the 100 and 200. He has looked strong in competitions since the end of his four-year suspension in 2010, and, in 2012, he has already posted times near his personal best from the Athens Games.
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America's top female javelin throwing hopeful, the 26-year-old Purdue graduate is the U.S. record holder. After qualifying for the Beijing Games in 2008, she placed just 41st, a mark she surely intends to improve upon in 2012.
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Relay teammate to chief rival Jeremy Wariner, the soon-to-be 26-year-old Merritt is the defending 400-meter Olympic champion, despite serving a 21-month ban following a positive drug test in 2010. With his suspension completed, Merritt is back on the track and ready to return to Olympic competition.
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Favored to win the 100-meter hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Lori "Lolo" Jones heart-breakingly came up short after tripping on the penultimate hurdle and placed seventh. Come trials, the 2005 graduate of LSU via Des Moines, Iowa, will try to qualify for the 2012 Games in London and recapture talk of a podium finish.
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A 2006 graduate of Willamette University, Symmonds is a middle-distance specialist who will compete in the 800. In 2008, the 29-year-old was just edged out of the 800 finals. If he makes the Games, he should compete for a medal.
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A member of the last two U.S. Olympic teams, the 34-year-old shot putter is America's best chance at a medal in the event in 2012. The 5-foot-11, 315-pound Athens, Ga., native will try to increase his distance and best his seventh-place finish from Beijing in 2008.
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A member of the women's gold-medal 4x400-meter women's relay squad in Beijing along with Allyson Felix, the 27-year-old is also the defending bronze medalist in the 400. Jamaican-born, Richards-Ross is the American record-holder in the 400 at 48.70 seconds and has already run 2012's fastest time, clocking 49.39 at a June race in Eugene, Ore.
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The 29-year-old Lexington, Ky., native is the United States' best hope to push Usain Bolt in the men's 100 meter. The American record holder at 9.69 seconds may have a shot at knocking off the Jamaican, but he'll have to shake off the aches of a repaired hip and make the U.S. team first.
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Come July in London, the 26-year-old will give the elder Gay a run for his money as the fastest American. A 15-time NCAA champion at Florida State, where he earned a degree in social science, he will also look to improve upon the two bronze medals he captured in the 100 and 200 meter in Beijing.
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