Athletics: Hurdles world record holder Aries Merritt fails to make US Olympic team

Aries Merritt of the US competes during the men's 110m hurdles final at the IAAF World Challenge at the National Olympic Stadium, known as the Bird's Nest, in Beijing on May 18.
Aries Merritt of the US competes during the men's 110m hurdles final at the IAAF World Challenge at the National Olympic Stadium, known as the Bird's Nest, in Beijing on May 18.PHOTO: AFP

EUGENE (REUTERS/AFP) - World record holder and Olympic champion Aries Merritt failed to make the United States team for the Rio Games when he finished fourth in the 110 metres hurdles final at the American trials on Saturday.

Merritt, who received a kidney transplant in September, needed to finish in the top three to qualify for Rio. He clocked 13.22 seconds, 1/100th of a second behind third place.

In the 200m sprint, Justin Gatlin powered to victory, surging home ahead of in-form rival LaShawn Merritt.

Gatlin, who had already won the 100m earlier in the meet at Hayward Field, took the lead on the opening curve and held on to win in 19.75 seconds, his fastest time of the season.

LaShawn was second in 19.79sec with Ameer Webb grabbing the third qualifying spot in 20.00sec.