Gatlin blazes to fast time in 1st round of 200 at nationals
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Justin Gatlin exerted little energy in his first race of the U.S. championships Saturday, easily winning his opening heat of the 200 meters with a blazing time.
Gatlin finished in 19.92 seconds on a steamy afternoon. According to USA Track and Field, it's the fourth-fastest time in the first round of a 200.
After the race, sprinter Curtis Mitchell cracked: "Hey, Gat. Slow down, bro!"
The 33-year-old Gatlin has fresh legs after skipping the 100 since he has an automatic bye to the world championships because of his Diamond League title from last season. Tyson Gay won the event Friday, but elected to sit out the 200.
Isiah Young had second-fastest time of the afternoon, finishing 0.07 seconds behind Gatlin. The sprinters train together in Florida.
Oregon standout Jenna Prandini went 22.18 in the first round of the women's 200.