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Gatlin drawn in cutthroat 100m semi-final heat at U.S. Trials

Justin Gatlin faces a difficult path to get to Tokyo Olympics after he was drawn in a very tough semi-final heat at the 2021 U.S. Olympic trials on Sunday.

Sprinter Justin Gatlin at the 2021 U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.

EUGENE, Oregon — Justin Gatlin’s path to another Olympic Games has been made difficult after he was drawn in a highly competitive 100m semi-final heat at the 2021 U.S. Olympic trials at Hayward Field. The two-time Olympian is targeting his third appearance at the Olympics as he seeks to add to the five medals he’s already won at previous Games.

On Sunday Gatlin will race from the first semi-finals against world-leader Trayvon Bromell, who is currently the favorite to not only win the U.S. trials title but also the front runner for the gold medal in Tokyo.

The pair met in the heats on Saturday with Bromell coming out on top, and Gatlin, who owns a season’s best of 9.98s, will be hoping to call on his experience as guidance against some of the best talents in the world at the moment.

READ MORE: [Video] Sha’Carri Richardson claims US Olympic trials 100m title

The 39-year-old 2004 Olympic champion from Athens will also have to deal with Isiah Young, who has been in great form so far this season, coming into these trials with a seasonal and lifetime bests of 9.89s.

With only the top three finishers from each semi-final heat guaranteed a place in the final, a number of the regular seasoned athletes could very well find themselves having to watch the final from the stands on Sunday night.

Kenny Bednarek, the 200m specialist, showed his quality in the heats on Saturday and he will want to build on that performance in the semis. He will start from lane four between Gatlin and Bromell.

MORE: How to watch USA Olympic track and field trials: Day 3

The heat will also include Cravon Gillespie, who has also broken 10-seconds this season, Oregon freshman standout Micah Williams and the experienced Michael Rodgers.

Semi-final two should also be very competitive as well with the in-form Ronnie Baker set to lead the way.

World 200m champion Noah Lyles and 400m specialist Fred Kerley, who is stepping down to the shorter sprints this season, are also slated to race from this cutthroat second section. Christopher Belcher, Marvin Bracy-Williams, Kyree King, and Georgia sophomore Matthew Boling are also entered in this heat.

The men’s 100m semi-finals will take place at 9:19 pm ET.

About The Author

Gary Smith || World-Track Content Manager and Lead Reporter

Gary Smith is one of the leading writers for He has over 20 years of running experience, as well as 12 years of coaching while covering several events, from the international to college level. Smith, who has covered events for publications such as Caribbean Net News, European Athletics, Cayman Net News, AFP, and Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), is also a frequent contributor of and Smith holds a degree in Communication and Journalism. Twitter | LinkedIn | News Break Writer

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