EUGENE (Oregon) • Justin Gatlin powered to victory in the 200 metres at the United States Olympic trials on Saturday and 41-year-old Bernard Lagat made his fifth Olympic team.
However, hurdler Aries Merritt's fairy-tale comeback from a kidney transplant ended in disappointment.
Allyson Felix also kept her hopes of a rare 200m and 400m Olympic double alive by advancing to the women's 200m final.
World Championships silver medallist Gatlin, remembering a narrow loss to Usain Bolt in last year's Beijing 100m final, held off the charging LaShawn Merritt to win the 200m final in 19.75 seconds.
"About 40-50 metres to go, I started seeing LaShawn's legs coming," Gatlin said.
FALLING JUST SHORT
It's hard not to go back to Rio. But in the circumstances, I did the best I could. It's a pity I'm not going to the Games because I know in six weeks' time, I'll be in much better shape.
ARIES MERRITT, US hurdler, on missing out on qualifying for the Rio Olympics after coming back to competition following a kidney transplant in September.
"I just had a flashback of Beijing all over again. I was like, 'Oh no!'
"I just kept my poise and dived for the line and I just kept running as hard as I could."
Merritt clocked 19.79sec, as both the sprinters qualified for Rio in a second event. Merritt earlier won the 400m and Gatlin the 100m.
Kenya-born Lagat pulled to the front on the final straight to claim the 5,000m in 13min 35.50sec.
"I train with young guys and I don't believe I am old," he said.
"If you believe you are old, I am going to run like an old man."
Lagat had represented Kenya for his first two Olympic teams and now will be going for a third Games with the US.
Reigning Olympic hurdles champion Aries Merritt, who underwent a kidney transplant in September, receiving an organ from his sister, missed the Rio team by a hundredth of a second as he came fourth in the final.
Only the top three finishers qualify for the Olympics in the cut-throat US trials.
"I thought I had finished second or third," said the 30-year-old, who was leading with two hurdles to go.
Officials re-read the finish photo but did not change the results.
"It's hard not to go back to Rio. But in the circumstances, I did the best I could. It's a pity I'm not going to the Games because I know in six weeks' time, I'll be in much better shape," he added.
Elsewhere, Felix, not happy with her curve running, clocked the third-best 200m semi-final time of 22.57sec to advance to yesterday's final.
"I was not as sharp as I would like to be but I am moving on," said Felix, who has been slowed by a sprained ankle in April.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE