Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay Lead American 100-Meter Dash Team for London Olympics
While a photo finish created uncertainty about the United States' women's 100-meter dash team, the men's qualifying went far more smoothly.
Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey took out the rest of the American competition and are headed to London to represent their country.
The news comes from Sports Illustrated's George Schroeder:
Men's 100m: Gatlin 9.80, Gay 9.86, Ryan Bailey 9.93 (Salem, OR). Wind legalThere's your team for London. #tracktown2012— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) June 24, 2012
Let's take a closer look at these results.
What it Means
Justin Gatlin's time of 9.80 seconds is ridiculously impressive, even for him (via Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden):
That 9.80 for Gatlin is his legal (non-windy, non-drug) PR. He did, of course, run 9.77 in 2006, but that performance was expunged.— Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) June 25, 2012
This qualifying victory and trip to London cap off a remarkable comeback for Gatlin since his drug ban in late 2007.
Gay, who took second, was the clear favorite coming in. He continues to struggle off the starting blocks, but his performance this week didn't tell us anything we didn't already know.
Bailey was the only real surprise, although not a big one. He is the hometown boy, and it's nice to see the 23-year-old qualify for London, even if he won't be a major medal contender.
Who will have the best finish in London?
What's next is the Olympics, where these three men will have the unfortunate task of going up against Usain Bolt, who holds the world record with a time of 9.58 seconds.
Nonetheless, Gatlin, who isn't even seen as America's best chance at gold in the event, setting a blazing personal record is a good sign for the United States.
He and Gay will have to be on top of their game in London, but it appears Bolt will have two legitimate American contenders to deal with.
Not that it matters. Bolt will still be a huge favorite.
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