Athletics: Gatlin stuns Coleman at US trials

Justin Gatlin celebrating as he wins the Men's 100 Metre Final during Day 2 of the 2017 USA Track & Field Championships at Hornet Stadium on June 23, 2017.
Justin Gatlin celebrating as he wins the Men's 100 Metre Final during Day 2 of the 2017 USA Track & Field Championships at Hornet Stadium on June 23, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

(AFP) - Justin Gatlin stormed to victory in the 100m at the US world championship trials on Friday (June 23), upstaging rising star Christian Coleman and setting up the prospect of one final duel with Usain Bolt.

The 35-year-old Gatlin turned on the gas in the final 20 metres at Sacramento's Hornet Stadium to reel in Coleman for a convincing win in 9.95sec.

Coleman, 21, had been tipped as the likeliest US rival to Bolt at August's World Championships after clocking the fastest time in the world this year, a blistering 9.82sec.

But Coleman - who hours earlier had inked a seven-figure sponsorship deal with Nike - was put firmly in his place by the veteran Gatlin, finishing in 9.98sec. Christopher Belcher was third in 10.06sec.

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Gatlin was left delighted after clinching his ticket to London - and another potential showdown with Bolt.

"It feels great," said Gatlin, who has registered only one victory over Bolt in his career.