Kerley dominates, Jefferson stuns 100m US finals

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EUGENE, Ore. : Tokyo Olympic silver medallist Fred Kerley won the men's 100 metres at the U.S. championships in a dominant 9.77 seconds on Friday, with Melissa Jefferson stunning the women's field in a scorching, wind-aided 10.69.

Kerley exploding down the stretch at Eugene, Oregon's Hayward Field to punch his ticket to the world championships, with Marvin Bracy and Trayvon Bromell finishing second and third, respectively, in 9.85 and 9.88.

"It's all about pacing and training and stuff and continuing to do what I've got to do," said Kerley, who earlier in the day produced a world-leading 9.76 in the semi-final race.

Kerley, who is now tied with Coleman and Bromell as the sixth-fastest performer of all time, said he was targetting eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt's record in the distance.

"You don't go for the second place, you're trying to go for the top dog," he said.

It was sweet redemption for Bracy, who fell short of making the Tokyo team a year ago at the same track.

"To go through the rounds and make the team, my first world championship team ever, is a blessing," he said.

World champion Christian Coleman, who returned to action in January after serving an 18-month suspension for breaching anti-doping whereabouts rules, did not run in the final and has a wildcard entry for the worlds.

Jefferson finished three hundredths of a second ahead of favourite Aleia Hobbs in the women's race, a remarkable rebound from her disappointing eighth-place finish at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships, and credited her religious faith with guiding her turnaround.

"Two weeks I wasn't really happy with the results (at NCAAs)," said Jefferson, the indoor 60 metres collegiate champion. "I had to step back and realize who's really in control. He's in control of what I may endure in this life."

Twanisha Terry finished third in 10.74.

The top three finishers in Eugene, who meet certain qualifying standards, and reigning global title-holders advance to the first world championships to be held in the United States at the same track, starting on July 15.

World record-holder and Tokyo gold medallist Sydney McLaughlin clobbered her 400 metres hurdles semi-final heat in 52.90, more than two seconds ahead of her competitors.

"I've just been praying that God would really show me how to run free and have fun and I really can just only credit it to him," she said.


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