Sha'Carri Richardson wins the 100m at the US Olympic Trials (© Getty Images)
Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson and discus thrower Valarie Allman won their respective events on the second day of action at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene on Saturday (19), booking their spots at what will be their first Olympic Games.
The 100m sprinters had to contend with changing winds throughout Saturday’s session. The breeze was on the athletes’ backs during the semi-finals, carrying Richardson to a swift 10.64 (2.6m/s) as she won her heat by 0.2 from Teahna Daniels. World Indoor Tour winner Javianne Oliver, Richardson’s training partner, won the other semifinal in a wind-assisted 10.83 (2.5m/s).
By the time of the final just under two hours later, the wind was blowing in the other direction. But despite the -1.0m/s headwind, Richardson was a clear winner in 10.86 from Oliver (10.99) and Daniels (11.03).
After the race, Richardson headed over to the stands and celebrated with her grandmother. “My grandmother embracing me is honestly great,” said Richardson. “She was always in my corner. She is my heart. She is my super woman. Being able to cross the finish line and run up the steps felt amazing after becoming an Olympian.”
Allman, like Richardson, was one of the other big favourites heading into the US Trials. She set out her stall in the qualifying round on Friday, throwing a meeting record of 70.01m – just 14 centimetres shy of the US record she set earlier this year. She came close to matching that in the final on Saturday, opening with 69.45m before improving to 69.92m in round two.
She rounded out her series with throws of 66.36m, 68.65m and 68.46m, sending a clear signal to her overseas opponents that she’ll be a force at the Olympics later this year. Micaela Hazlewood threw a PB of 62.54m to take second place, but she’ll have to wait and see if she’ll qualify through the world rankings. Third-placed Rachel Dincoff (60.21m) is in possession of a qualifying mark and so will be able to take up her place on the US team.
Scantling leads decathlon
Garrett Scantling has enjoyed one of his best ever starts to a decathlon and leads at the half-way stage with 4494 – almost 100 points up on his day-one score from earlier this year when he set his PB of 8476.
But in a high-quality and competitive contest, Kyle Garland (4424) and 2016 Olympian Zach Ziemek (4409) are close behind, setting up a potentially exciting finish for the second day of decathlon action.
Scantling started with a 100m PB of 10.53 and followed it with a wind-assisted 7.61m leap in the long jump, after which he took the lead. He maintained his position after winning the shot put with 15.91m, but dropped to third in the standings after the high jump as Garland (2.17m) and Ziemeck (2.14m) produced the best marks of that discipline and so moved up in the standings.
But Scantling produced a 48.86 run in the 400m, comfortably ahead of Garland (51.58) and Ziemek (50.89) to regain the lead at the end of the first day.
Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics