Tokyo silver medalist Fred Kerley produced a world-leading 9.83 seconds in the men’s 100 meters heats at the U.S. championships on Thursday but there was a shock in the women’s preliminaries when fan-favourite Sha’Carri Richardson failed to advance.
World champion Christian Coleman, who returned to action in January after serving an 18-month suspension for breaching anti-doping whereabouts rules, won his heat in 10.08 while Trayvon Bromell clinched his in 10.10.
”I feel pretty decent. I feel like there’s definitely a lot I can still continue to build off of,” said Coleman ”I feel pretty good for a prelim and so I’m pretty excited to try to put it all together tomorrow.”
The top three finishers in Eugene, who meet certain qualifying standards, and reigning global title-holders advance to the first world championships to be held in the United States at the same track, starting on July 15.
Aleia Hobbs, a Tokyo relay silver medalist, posted the fastest time in the women’s heats (10.88) but Richardson, whose Olympic dreams were ended by a suspension for a positive cannabis test, got off to a rough start and finished fifth in her heat in 11.31.
A late surge propelled 800m world champion Donavan Brazier to a win in his heat in a time of 1:46.49, his best performance of the season.
Twice world bronze medalist Ajee Wilson posted the quickest time in the women’s heats with 2:00.37, while 20-year-old Tokyo gold medalist Athing Mu and bronze medalist Raevyn Rogers also advanced.
In the women’s 400m hurdles, world record holder and Tokyo gold medalist Sydney McLaughlin led all the way to win her heat handily in 54.11, with reigning world champion Dalilah Muhammad missing out due to injury.