Hurdlers Harrison, Little Won’t Be In Rio; Merritt Runs 19.74 for 200m

EUGENE, Ore., Sporting Alert – National champion Shamier Little shockingly failed to qualify for the final of the women’s 400m hurdles, while world-leader Keni Harrison failed to make the Olympic team in the women’s 100m hurdles.

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In the women’s one-lap obstacles, Little looked a shadow of herself when finishing fifth in the second semi-finals on Friday.

The 21-year-old, who leads the world with a swift 53.51 seconds, visibly struggled in the first round, and whatever problem the world silver medallist had from the heats, it was carried over into the semis.

Little got off to a very slow start and struggled to run back into contention – running a modest 55.49 seconds, which is way below the standard she set for herself.

She misses out on a place in the final and will not make the trip to Rio, this after coming into the trials as the clear favourite.

Dalilah Muhammad won that semi-final heat in 54.14, ahead of Harvard’s Autumne Franklin, 55.40, Ashley Spencer, 55.41 and Cassandra Tate, 55.49.

Sixteen-year-old Sydney McLaughlin looked very impressive when cruising to victory in her semi-final heat with a time of 55.23, which was the second quickest heading into the final.

Keni Harrison Left At Home

Meanwhile, in the women’s 100m hurdles, world-leader Keni Harrison did not make the Olympic team after she finished sixth in the final.

Harrison looked shaky when finishing second in her semi-final heat and the former Kentucky standout, who is the second-fastest woman ever in the sprint hurdles, following her 12.24 seconds posting this season, was unable to shake off those rust in the final.

Dawn Harper-Nelson, the 2008 Olympic champion, and 2012 London Olympic silver medallist, failed to make the final, after she finished third in her semis.

The 32-year-old Harper-Nelson posted a time of 13.01 for third place in her semi-final, but her time wasn’t fast enough to secure one of the fastest loser places and she will have to watch the final on the sidelines.

In the final, 2013 world champion Brianna Rollins blasted to victory in 12.34 and she took Kristi Castlin
(12.50) and Nia Ali (12.55) with her on the plan to Rio, after this completed the top three spots.

MERRITT GOES FAST AGAIN

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In the meantime, LaShawn Merritt ran a world-leading time of 19.74 seconds to win his semi-finals of the men’s 200m.

Despite the dominating performance, however, the American quarter-miler says he’s still undecided about doing the 200/400 double.

“I’m still taking one day at a time,” said Merritt when asked about doing the double in Rio. “We will see. I am feeling good.”

The other two heat winners were high schoolers, but they certainly didn’t look that way.

Michael Norman ran 20.21 into a -1.1 m/s headwind to beat world silver medallist Justin Gatlin (20.23) in the first semi-final, while Noah Lyles came home in 20.26 to beat Kendal Williams (20.31).

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