Justin Gatlin ran the fifth fastest 200m time in history at the United States Athletics trials in Eugene, Oregon on Sunday.
Gatlin bursted down the lane to a world leading 19.57secs finish time ahead of Issiah Young and Wallace Spearmon, who clocked 19.93secs and 20.90secs respectively.
Only four men have ever finished faster, in Usain Bolt (19:19), Yohann Blake (19.26), Michael Johnson (19.32) and Walter Dix (19.57).
And with Bolt struggling for fitness as the world’s biggest athletics showpiece draw nearer, Gatlin, who had a bye in the 100m at the trials, is confident the USA would reclaim their sprint dominance at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in August.
“It’s time to go out there and work hard and bear that American flag with honour,” Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, said.
“I think a lot of us are doing that, (Trayvon) Bromell, Tyson (Gay), myself,, even Isiah Young in the 200, Wallace Spearmon.
“We are going out there and we’re going to be ready when it comes to world championships.”
The USA have not won a global title in the 100m since 2007, but with Gay- the last athlete from the States to win a global title-, teenager Bromell and veteran Mike Rodgers all set to take to the field in Beijing; the long duck might soon be broken.
And it will take huge preparation from any nation to beat this feat recorded on Day 3 of the US Championships- 12 men running inside 10.00secs (wind assisted) in the 100m Heats.
In the women’s event, English Gardner tied Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce for the fastest time in the 100m this year at 10.79secs. With the outright 2015 leader over 200m (21.98secs), Allyson Felix, handed a bye in the 200m at Hayward Field, Jenna Prandini made up for her disappointment in the short sprint with a 22.20secs finish.
Thirteen athletes reached world performances in the world this year at the American trial, including Gatlin, Gardner, Felix and pole vault champion Jenn Suhr.