US athletes ready for gold in Tokyo after thrilling events


June 28 (Reuters) – With world records broken and the best scores of the season posted, American athletes have shown they are peaking just in time for the Tokyo Games as their Olympic trials end on Sunday in Eugene, in Oregon.

In addition to Ryan Crouser’s record push in the shot put (23.37m) and Sydney McLaughlin’s new mark in the women’s 400m hurdles (51.90), hurdles Rai Benjamin (400m) and Grant Holloway ( 110 m) also failed to make themselves known. the record book after eight days of competition.

American sprinters must have played the supporting role behind Jamaican speedsters in the recent Olympics, but there was a lot to suggest they can turn the tide in Tokyo.

Gabby Thomas set an unprecedented 200m time since Florence Griffith Joyner at the 1988 Games while Sha’Carri Richardson, 21, won the women’s 100m final in 10.86.

She will face Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the world‘s fastest woman, who won her country’s national track and field championships on Friday. Read more

“I would tell my young self that it would all pay off when you least expect it,” said Richardson, reflecting on his early Olympic ambitions. “Continue to be who you are.”

With Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt no longer pictured, Trayvon Bromell will have his eyes riveted on the top step of the podium after winning the men’s 100m final in 9.81 seconds, a hundredth of a second slower than Bolt’s gold medal in Rio.

And after the United States has been sidelined from the men’s 200 podium in the last two Games, 23-year-old world champion Noah Lyles offers real medal hope after posting a world record of 19.74 in the last night of competition.

Six-time Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix, 35, will have one last chance to play with equipment after securing a berth in the 400m for her fifth Games.

The United States has dominated the medal table in track and field at every Games since 1984, but has never won a medal in the women’s hammer. That drought could end in Tokyo, with DeAnna Price stretching her own US record with a throw of 80.31m – a distance only two-time Olympic champion Anita WÅ‚odarczyk improved.

New Zealand 1,500m runner Nick Willis, who won a silver in Beijing and bronze in Rio, was impressed with the talent exhibited in Oregon.

“Wow, this has to be one of the best American teams to make it to the Olympics ever. 10 amazing days in Eugene,” he tweeted.

For some athletes, however, the Tokyo dream is over.

World champion and US record holder Donavan Brazier saw his hopes dashed in the 800m, while Justin Gatlin, 39, who won gold in the 100m in Athens in 2004, failed to get a impact in his race, his career seeming almost over. . Read more

Reporting by Amy Tennery, additional reporting by Gene Cherry; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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