Allyson Felix leads 200m semifinalists at USAs, minus Justin Gatlin
Allyson Felix eased into the U.S. 200m semifinals as ninth fastest from the first round Saturday, but she probably won’t contest the 200m at the world championships in August.
Felix, the 2012 Olympic 200m champion, won her heat in 22.95 seconds, letting off the gas for most of the final straightaway in Sacramento, Calif.
Deajah Stevens (22.55), Ariana Washington (22.57) and Rio bronze medalist Tori Bowie (22.69) led the 16 qualifiers into Sunday’s semifinals at the USATF Outdoor Championships, part of the TeamUSA Summer Champions Series, presented by Comcast.
The final is also Sunday, when the top three qualify for the world championships in London in August.
On Friday, Felix finished eighth in the 100m, but she did not plan to race the 100m at worlds even if she made the team in that event.
Felix has a bye into the world 400m as defending champion. The 31-year-old said after Saturday’s race that the 400m will probably be her only individual event at worlds, even if she makes the 200m team, according to USA Track and Field.
Felix missed the 2016 Olympic team in the 200m by .01 at the Olympic Trials, slowed by an ankle injury. She ranks No. 4 in the U.S. in the 200m this year behind Bowie, NCAA champion Kyra Jefferson and Stevens.
Justin Gatlin chose not to start the men’s 200m, about 16 hours after winning the 100m title. Gatlin said after being eliminated in the Olympic 200m semifinals that he intended to focus on the 100m this season.
Likewise, Usain Bolt is not racing the 200m in his farewell season.
In Gatlin’s absence, Isiah Young and U.S. 100m runner-up Christian Coleman posted the fastest 200m first-round times of 20.29 and 20.34 seconds.
Olympian Ameer Webb (20.50), favorite Noah Lyles (20.54), Walter Dix (20.57), Tyson Gay (20.60) and LaShawn Merritt (20.74) also made the semifinals.
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