23 Jun 2013

US Jamaica sprint rivalry heats up

9:33 am on 23 June 2013

Tyson Gay won the 100m at the US athletics championships in an impressive 9.75 seconds on Friday to stamp himself America's top world championships challenger to Jamaican Usain Bolt.

Gay, trailing out of the blocks, exploded near the midway point and powered home to win in the fastest time in the world this year.

Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic gold medallist who handed six-time Olympic champion Bolt a rare defeat in Rome this month, just couldn't match Gay in the closing stages.

Running warily with a mild right hamstring strain, Gatlin finished second in 9.89sec.

Charles Silmon seized the third world championships berth on offer by the narrowest of margins, finishing third in 9.98sec (9.972).

The top trio will spearhead the US challenge to six-time Olympic gold medallist Bolt and his fellow Jamaican sprinters at the world championships in Moscow in August .

Reigning Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt won the 100-metre title at the Jamaican Athletics Championships on Friday to qualify.

Bolt, who broke free from the pack after 60 metres, crossed the line in 9.94 seconds, with rising star and training partner Kemar Bailey-Cole second in 9.98 and Nickel Ashmeade third in 9.99.

Yohan Blake did not run in the Jamaican meet because of a right thigh injury, but as a reigning champion, Blake will still be eligible to run at the worlds despite not competing this week at the Jamaican trials.