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Monday, July 4, 2016


Jeffrey Henderson in action 
Americans usually celebrate with fireworks on 4 July, their Independence Day. In Eugene on Sunday (3), the fireworks came a day early.
The US Olympic Trials were so eventful on Sunday that LaShawn Merritt’s time of 43.97 in the 400m or Vashti Cunningham becoming USA’s youngest Olympian in 36 years did not even merit headlines. Six of seven finals produced the best marks in the world this year.
Allyson Felix stayed on course for a 200m/400m Rio double that was once imperilled by an ankle injury. The 30-year-old Felix, who was fourth coming out of the last bend, burst down the stretch to win the 400m in 49.68. It was the fastest time since her 49.26 in winning the world title in Beijing last year.
Phyllis Francis was second in 49.94, taking half a second off her PB. Courtney Okolo came to the trials as the world leader (49.71) and finished sixth in 50.39. Times for third through sixth were the fastest ever at the US Trials.
“It’s been a tough year, and it was a relief,” Felix said. “I have put in so much work, and to see it all come together when two months ago I was barely walking.”

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